Parallel Lives



The other day I took a walk downtown- perhaps to run some errands, I am not sure I remember the purpose of the excursion. I was listening to early music through a discman, fully transported by the voices, the harmonies, the inspiring librettos. As I was walking along Quadra St, I watched as two men screamed at each other, both locked in an immovable altercation over some territorial issue. At least I assumed that it was territorial. The two men were in possession of shopping carts filled with odd collections of assorted junk-not an unusual sight. For the homeless live out of their shopping carts. I was struck by the juxtaposition of such parallel realities- the splendor of early music, and the passion of angry men on the cusp of violence. How could such realities coexist? I began to think of the many existential possibilities, the events occurring in any given moment- births, deaths, homicides, suicides, marriages, divorces, acts of kindness, and acts of malevolence. It hit me like a freight train. If God truly has “the whole world in His hands”, then He also holds all of these possibilities.

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