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  • Fr.Terry Ryan, CSP

The Stranger


The Stranger

What is a Stranger? One person describes a Stranger as a Friend I have not met yet. I like that, since I tend to be wary of strangers, not that they might hurt me, but that they might interrupt my controlling tendencies of the world around me. Friends, even when not predictable, act within my accepted window of "OK" where fear does not take over. Strangers tend to press the fear button, or the annoyance button. I like things predictable. But in reality, friends I have were all at one time strangers in my life. I gave them and they gave me time to meet and know one another. I don't mean someone who is meandering by or passing, but someone who enters into what I think is my space. Airports and grocery stores are not my space. Those are communal spaces where I don't do much beyond curtesy and kindness. My school, home, office, social group, running group, these are places I go to regularly. There, the stranger may indeed be a gift in my life, a new friend. It is beyond acceptance, or life on life's terms. It is an active and open reaching out. The stranger may be a newcomer in my life. And I may well be a newcomer in someone else's life. Do unto others.

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