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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Signs Were All Around Us


One of my best friends is a Brooklyn-born Jew turned Christian. How he got there is a long story, perhaps for another time and place. We have a long history, he knows my position, and although he does not proselytize, we do often discuss religion.

On one occasion, we spoke generally of whether or not I believe in God. I said that essentially, I am agnostic, and that I would like to believe, but I so wish for a sign, any sign at all. He responded that the signs are all around us and that I just don't see them. I am sure there are signs, but are they really from God or a product of one's mind?

These types of theological questions have been asked for millennia, and answers have been thought through and articulated to the point where discussions like this become rather formulaic.

On a recent day trip with my aforementioned friend, we were making our way towards Floyd Bennett Field and Dead Horse Bay via the Belt Parkway. We briefly pulled into a small turn out area to describe to our fellow travelers the activities that can sometimes be seen here, such as kite flying.

Upon leaving, I was struck by the appearance of a Hasidic Jew on the roadside combing the area. This type of stark contrast of orthodox religious clothing, particularly on a summer day, though not uncommon, is always startling. On the hottest of Saturdays in Borough Park, Brooklyn, orthodox Jews can be seen strolling fully clothed in black pants, long sleeved shirts, and wool hats.

As we sped away, I regretted not having stopped quickly and asking what this man was looking for. It seems that we were all searching that day and signs were all around us

Related Posts: Christ is Risen, Toches ahfen tish, Come Together, With All Due Respect, We Got Religion, Sense of Humor, Botánica, Salat

7 comments:

Leslie said...

These pictures just make me want to ask so many questions...they also make me really laugh at the weirdness of this guy wandering next to a busy highway on a sweltering day.

I think he's looking for the same thing we all are...something/anything that gives our lives meaning. ;-)

Cheri said...

As a Christian I think it is really special that friends can go beyond what their beliefs are and have a friendship. Today people are so full of hate, hate for Christians, non Christians, Jews and so on. I love to sit and talk to people that have different points of view without having a heated debate. Cheri

Thérèse said...

The "call box"is not working anymore and this man is using an alternative phone what a lot of us are too...

Rosilee said...

I was brought up Catholic in Ireland, I always believed in God, what the priests and nuns had to say and what we were taught. Now, I believe in living a good life without hate towards any other creed or race. Wouldn`t it be nice if people were more tollerant and not so condescending.....

London Caller said...

Ha! I guess it Signs "R" Us.

ragtimemarkbirnbaum said...

life needs meaning

Sylvia said...

I'm an Italian girl and I've been brought up Catholic. I haven't always been totally conscious of what that meant. Faith is something you build up during life.
I think there are signs too and that they always are from God, as my mind is a "product" of His love.
Keep on looking!

I love your posts, btw.
Good luck!