Unexpected Guest

Posted on 22 Jun 2010 in Imagine | 0 comments

I got an email.
Hey, I have a friend who needs a place to stay in Dublin. You got anything?
From this particular friend, barring death and dismemberment, the answer is almost always ‘yes.’
So we made plans. We had already scheduled something with some other good friends for the same evening, so it actually worked out quite well. We gave her the keys to the house, she drove us to our friend’s, and we haven’t ‘seen’ her since. She left us soymilk and various other products.
When I look back to this story, I realize how strange it sounds. After all, we let her into our house, sight unseen, and then actually learn that she is only passing friendly with our friend. But this is just how our friend works. He believes – and we do as well – that when the church is what it is supposed to be… The Church Works.
So the lovely guest arrıves a bit late, but to be fair, getting lost in Dublin is a given. I do it on a regular enough basis. First of all, most streets are not labeled, so you can’t follow maps perfectly – and map directions from websites are worthless. Directions from a local are more helpful…if they know the brightest possible landmark near the turns. Otherwise, the directions become a litany of missed pubs and bizarre petrol stations. So the directions that I tried to give were designed to identify landmarks, especially those (like pubs) that would not be easily recognized by a non-local. Unfortunately, she got trapped in the same mistake that I dıd… taking a slight turn instead of a full turn or a full turn instead of a slight turn. It’s really quite a normal thing, but since the roads here are most often paved cowpaths, it’s never easy to get turned back the right way round. It’s always a necessity to retrace your steps.
So, she arrıves and we deliver the keys, and she offers to drive us to our friends’ house, which is AWESOME because public transport there would have been the DART to the city and then a bus for 90 minutes to their neıghborhood – before our junker of joy. And…
we got lost.
First, I got us off on the wrong exit, then we wound up very confused and lost up Ticknock Hill. Eventually we found our way, she dropped us off, and off she went. When we arrıved home from church the next day, our house was clean and tidy, the key was in the mailbox, and all was well.
And it became a great lesson to trust friends and trust instincts. After all, we only had our friend’s word that this person was reliable, and for many people, that would not have been enough. Yet it becomes a simpler matter when you make the conscious decision to value people over property, to trust instead of fear.