"The first shall be last and the last shall be first." That's what Jesus said, and I thought I understood it. He means, in His eyes, His Kingdom, we're all equal - every breathing one of us.
I have no problem being equal with the people society considers to be "last" because of the rung they occupy on the socioeconomic ladder. No problem. They're beautiful. As a general rule, they're unassuming and patient, slow-dancing with the hours, rather than sprint through them, not noticing even the sidewalk. They know the underside of life and stand more firmly on the ground.
Somehow, though, I have a blind spot in this whole equality idea when it comes to people like politicians. This one, for example. He often pops in and bolts out of the coffee shop I haunt when I want to read, watch people (in a philosophical, non-creepy sort of way, please conclude), and drown any yawn in a deep, warm mocha. I've watched him do his pop-and-bolt routine, grabbing a coffee to go while talking incessantly to the Bluetooth on his ear. Even his Bluetooth is modern and shiny - one of those sleek, rectangular sorts. No time for silence or conversation with the people in front of his face as his shiny shoes take him in for his coffee and back out to his expensive mirror-on-wheels SUV so fast that his perfectly-matched tie would be streaming over his shoulder, were it not designer-pinned fast. Senseless wasting of Earth's resources, constantly chasing power and control... I have more than once rolled my internal eyes. Not my visible ones, of course, but I guess God saw just as well. And He knew better than I that I felt myself more righteous than this guy I assumed thought he was "first".
I was positive I had a few quarters somewhere in my book tote, but (thanks to a law passed by a guy named Murphy) I stood at the parking meter, fishing in vain. Before I saw him, I heard Mr. Politics coming down the sidewalk. He was telling some remote person precisely what was going to happen in the following election, how it was all going to fall in their favor. I was happily elbow-deep in my search for a quarter. He remote-started his chromy chariot from across the parking lot. As he reached both it and me, he asked his invisible colleague to please excuse him for a second.
"Ma'am, I have one in my vehicle," he said to me. And he did. He also retraced his steps to bring it to me. I thanked him... surprised, warmed, and completely humbled.
Sometimes altars of repentance and sanctification very closely resemble parking meters. Maybe Jesus says the earth is flat after all and no one stands above or below another. I hope I remember this. I also hope Mr. Politics' coffee was exceptionally stellar.