A few weeks ago I was coming out of Dunkin Donuts in Brighton, and a man stopped me and asked, “Are you from around here?” “Sort of.” And he asked me if I could help him find his way to the highway. So I started explaining, pointing out directions with my hands, this road goes straight but kind of right … He wasn’t getting it. Then I got out my smartphone thing and got the map up on Google maps, and asked him where he was going. Malden. And now I’m pointing with my hands and showing him with the map on the phone …. He still wasn’t getting it. It might as well have been Idaho. “I have my Dad in the passenger’s seat. We drive by things and he’s noticing everything and telling stories about how it was, and…” “I understand.” Then I smiled and said to him, “Hey, appreciate your time with your Dad.” We laughed a bit.
Then I said to him, “I’ll tell you what, you can follow me, and I’ll show you how to get take that right coming up.” OK. So when I got in my car, I thought, I can go the extra mile here. So I got out of my car and went over to his. “You know what, I can take you all the way to I-93 – I’m going south, but you’re going north. Just follow me and I’ll take you there. I know the way.” A big look of relief on his face. And his Dad’s.
So we got out onto Storrow Drive and I went about 40 mph, nice and slow so he couldn’t lose me and his father would be comfortable. A few winding twists and turns, and finally at the end there were the signs to I-93. They gave the beep and wave as they headed off to their destination.
But it was something I noticed while I was driving that made my day. I don’t always think about it, but I have a little decal on the back bumper of my car. It’s very discreet, nothing guady, just simple. It’s a decal of a silhouette of a rosary with the Virgin Mary in it. And I couldn’t help but think that this man and his Dad, hugging my bumper, are staring right at it the whole way. I couldn’t help but think that in some way they felt they were being helped and led by her. I did.
I was thinking while I was driving, what a privilege it is to serve in the name of Mary. It’s a privilege to help people in her name to find the way they are looking for. It’s Mary who takes us to the Way, Jesus. She doesn’t just tell us about Him or tell us how to go to Him. That doesn’t really get us there. Instead, she leads us herself, generously and gently.
Because she knows the Way.
“Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:5-6)