Posted by: JennyRain | July 15, 2010

Do You Know Your Taxi Cab Driver’s Name?

He was the driver of my taxi-cab from the airport.

He slid up to the only open parking slot at Gate 8 and the valet ushered me forward.

I handed the driver my bag without looking at his face and he heaved it into the trunk.

Soon after I noticed him folding into the driver’s seat while I fiddled around in my pocketbook looking for some change.

He never looked at me in the rear view mirror, I only saw the side of his fuzzy earlobe.

We said nothing.

“Exit 15 please and then take a left at the first stop light,” I said with my eyes buried in my blackberry. “I’m about a mile from Costco.”

I gave him directions before even knowing his name.

His eyes cut right to left at the cross-street when the light turned green. He tapped his calloused right thumb on the steering wheel and bore eye-holes into the morning walkers. I caught his impatience and began my own morning rhythm-tap with my left foot.

We shared a common agitation though we knew nothing of the other.

It is easy in a big city to walk shoulder to shoulder with unknown travelers every day.

Easy to blend in. Easy to miss their name in casual conversation. Easy to work right next to them for years without knowing their story.

To exist rubber-banded together but completely disconnected.

God did not design us to live untethered from each other.

Unlike me with the cab-driver, God takes the time to know my name.

He knows the days of my journey before one step has been taken. God not only knows me, but He knows every person who will intersect my path. He knows their heart. He knows their hopes. He knows their name.

He descended from community with His Father to look deeply into my eyes so that He could know me.

Because I matter.

I matter to God. He knows my steps. He knows my name.

That thought draws tingles around my spine and pulls my heart into a smile.

GOD…. KNOWS…. ME.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. Psalm 139.1-2

Naqid.

That was his name. In the space between the stoplights I saw it on his dashboard.

But I never reached out to let him know that he mattered.


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Responses

  1. Doesn’t it make you so uncomfortable at times to be so close to people but not reach out your hand… or exchange greetings?

    I feel that way when in an elevator with someone… both of us just staring in opposite directions. I feel like we are in the same place same time… that should stir up something… or at least a hello. But the doors open and we part ways.

    • yup… me too… its hard to know when to speak, when to share the silence, when to reach out, when to just “be”… I struggle w/that too.

      p.s. I have a half-written elevator post called “sliding doors” too πŸ™‚

  2. You know…there are times when I do this to my own kids…trying with all the might I can muster to get them to go here, go there, do this, do that, without even getting a gauge on their heart…Lord, Help me to see them as YOU see them!

    • oooo – convicted. Didn’t even think about my own family with this… see, you have totally reminded me of the beauty of community in blogging… because YOU saw something in this post that I hadn’t even dug out… and now what you have said is totally ministering to me. I love that! πŸ™‚ Thanks Melissa!

  3. Thank you for this thoughtful post. I’m glad that somebody else is thinking about these things, especially your line about God not designing us to exist “untethered” to each other.

    I’ve recently moved to a small town, and I thought I’d find it stifling, but there’s something freeing about being connected to people, running in to folks you know at the grocery store, at a restaurant, at the gas station… everywhere!

    Thanks again.

    • Oh my gosh – I did the same thing – moving from urban DC to rural GA. It was SO hard… but you are so right… it was so freeing and beautiful in so many ways πŸ™‚ I pray your experience is a wonderful blessing too as mine was!

  4. I was challenged not too long ago to call people by name and say thank you by looking them in the eye everywhere that I go. I never knew how transformational that would be. I look at the name tag and thank them for their service. EVERY SINGLE TIME- the person perks up when I call them by name. It usually warrants a smile as well. People don’t know with a simple smile and nod. Recognition that it matters that they are there and we are interacting. It is a connecting point I believe. As believers it is a way that we are being the hands and feet of Christ and showing his face to those who long to know him.

  5. Oh- and I go to the same Starbucks every day- because they know my name- ask about my day and talk to me. When i recently was out of town putting on the Woman’s Conference I had lost sleep over- I walked in and Dave my Barista asked me how it went. He knew I had been sweating about this. He cares and it matters. I could choose three other Starbucks in the area- but this one knows my name…. Yep it matters so much!

    • I LOVE this story πŸ™‚ there is something special about people knowing your name – so true πŸ™‚

  6. Sounds like a lesson learned. πŸ™‚

    Good post.

    • Huge lesson… it’s that darn Pete Wilson challenge of yours I think πŸ™‚

  7. I do my best to interact with those I know or am acquainted with. I thank my baristas at Starbucks by name if I know it and tell them to have a wonderful day and sincerely mean it.

    Being introverted I have issues connecting. I’m so content to be silent. The place where I go to get my nails done I’ve made a point to be friendly. Getting to know the girl that I see every few weeks and spend 45-60 minutes with. Trying to break out of my shell.

  8. Wow. I got that feeling sometimes in the subways of Boston. We were all there together, but nobody wanted to talk to anybody. It fit my personality better, and now living in the south, where everyone talks to everyone it’s so very alarming… I’m still not used to it.


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