It seems that wherever I go these days there is either revival or riot. Even when I was sick as a dog the other day and just trying to catch a cab to a bus station in Syracuse, I was thrust into another spiritually weird situation (I’m not sure if this was a “riot” or a “revival,” perhaps a bit of both).
Anyway, it was about 6 am, and a cabdriver picked me up at the hostel in Syracuse for the 3-4 mile ride to the bus station. Well, about 10 miles into the trip to the station, I said to the driver “Just where are you going? I walked this the last time that I came to Syracuse, and it sure wasn’t this far!” He then got a bit convicted (and even a little mad because his scam was busted).
He then stopped the meter and told me to just give him $10.60 for the trip (instead of the much higher price that was on the meter). He then said, “You help the poor people out in the streets, the homeless and the drug addicts. What about the middle class working stiffs like me! Do you help us too?!!”
I said, “I try to help everyone in any way that I can.”
We then arrived at the station, and as this man stepped out of the car he said, ” I hate you church people! I hate you all!! You’ve never done anything for me!! I can’t stand any of you!”
I then said to him, “I’m not involved with any church organization. I do what I do on my own. No one pays me to do what I do.”
He then said, “You must be rich then.”
I said, “No, I have very little. I just use what I have to help people in whatever way that I can.”
I then paid this man for the cab fare, and also included for him a $5 tip. He refused to take the tip though, but I insisted that he keep it, and I then blessed him and I went my way into the station. The cabby then got into his car and drove away.
Well, about twenty minutes or so passed, and I was standing in line to board a bus to Rochester when this same cabdriver comes walking into the bus station. He then walks right over to me and says, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. You’re a good man doing a good thing.” He then stuffed a bunch of wadded up dollar bills into my hand and said, “Please, take this. Perhaps you can give it to a poor or homeless person, someone who needs it more than I do.”
I took the money from him and then just smiled at him. He then did his best to smile back at me, and then, with his head hung low, he just walked off to his cab.