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Dear friends,

For the past two weeks my husband Tom and I were on vacation.  We saw parts of Vancouver, BC, and the inland passage of Alaska. It was a magical vacation filled with amazing sites and incredible weather
extremes.  We flew back to San Diego refreshed and longing for our next trip to the Northwest.

On this trip instead of renting a car while we were in Vancouver, Tom and I decided to experience their mass transit system since we were only going to be there a few days before our cruise to Alaska.  This was a very different mode of travel for us.  We usually plan our trips around long distances, but Vancouver was our launch and landing for the cruise so how difficult could being without a car for four days be?  Well, it was a change of pace for us both.  Using mass transit in an unfamiliar city can be magnificent and maddening.  And yes, we experienced both ends of the spectrum.

When we arrived, we experienced a less than hospitable welcome from our cab driver.  His attitude to us, his customers who were foreigners in his country, could have colored our whole view of the city, but the bus drivers we met the following days transformed our view of Canadian hospitality.  Not only the bus drivers but also the people who rode the buses.  More than once a street person would hop on the bus with a nod to the driver, who nodded back, as they bypassed the toll to ride.  The others on the bus also just nodded to the passengers who hopped on and hopped off with their bags and baggage as they traveled throughout the city, seemingly for free.  But life for those on the street is much different in the Northwest than it is here in San Diego.  In Vancouver there are more rainy days than sunny, and the wind can be brutally cold. Life on the streets takes a different toll from the people who live there.

When Tom and I talked about what we saw during these days we both recognized God’s image and grace in those we sat alongside in our daily rides. We saw all types of people sitting together and acknowledging one another; rich and poor.  They made eye contact, they smiled, and for a short period of time were one community of fellow travelers; just as God intends us to be.

This week we will be reflecting on Luke 16:19-31 together in church; the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus. This passage talks about our world then and now with the hope of how we can one day be, people who love God and our neighbors as ourselves.  Let it be so.

With love from your fellow traveler,

Jeri