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…
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