Theology of Transportation…

31 01 2009

When I’m in Philly long enough, there’s things about New York or Seoul that I miss very much. One such thing is public transportation. As the years go by the comfort and freedom of my own car seems more desirable, but once I spend a couple of days back in Seoul (or New York), I realized that ingrained in me is the affinity towards the energetic, hustling activity of the subways and buses. The elderly sitting and chatting with one another at the edge of the subway cart where seats are reserved for them. The average yuppie watching his portable television on his way home from work. The middle school girls grouped on one end giggling about the days juiciest gossip, and a bunch of high school boys trying to look cool on the other. The one random middle-aged man (ah-juh-shi) swaying back and forth from one too many drinks. A picture so fascinating is not one a lot of people, if not most, like to be around. Many people would prefer the quiet house-with-a-picket-fence-and-lawn over compact high-rise-in-the-midst-of-the-noisy-traffic. They would prefer the accessibility of their driveway and the cleanliness and control of their car over the eccentric and, at times, erratic microcosm of a subway cart. Given that I’m biased for the city, I still want to pitch that this eccentric and erratic environment of public transportation promotes a better theology than the comfortable environment of a personal car. For one, in a subway cart, you don’t get to choose who enters your world. I know that many of us put on a “stranger, stoic face” in the subway to protect ourselves from the close proximity into which we are forced, but even so, we still don’t get to choose who “comes in” to our lives, as opposed to a car, you can lock the door on anyone you deem unworthy to be your friend. Christianity doesn’t promote picking and choosing,  and whomever we cross paths with, the theology of the Imago Dei calls us to not discriminate. Christ surely didn’t, looking at the hodgepodge group of disciples he let into his life. This, not to say that having a car is bad, but I think living in the context of the crowded city stretches us… stretches us to share the things we don’t want to, stretches us to be with people we would never have imagined hanging out with, stretches us to see value in every person and not just those who may be of benefit to ourselves.

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One response

2 02 2009
transport

very interesting!

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