An Offering of Need
9-13 in Milan During my flights, I was reading through a commentary about Jesus and His dealings with women. A common theme is that He broke cultural barriers first in just speaking with them, and second, elevating them to places belonging to men. With the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, Jesus even went so far as to put Himself in a place of weakness, where He would be in dependence of her, in needing help for water. Arriving in Milan, I went quickly from reading this before landing, to quickly going from the plane in search for a train. Soon, I found myself in need as the ticket machine was not accepting my credit card, thus leaving me unable to buy a ticket into town. Seeing a girl at another ticket machine, I asked if she could help me with the machine. Long story short, the machine wouldn't work for me and so she bought me a ticket. As we walked to the train, the conversation started off on an awkward foot for me. I felt dumb not being able to get a ticket, and I hoped she didn't I was out to take advantage of her or rip her off. Seeing she was Asian, I began to be curious what she was doing in Italy. She is from Japan, here for 5 months to work at the Milan Expo (apparently it's a big deal, but I never heard of it). She told me about her hometown and surfing in Japan. I showed her a surf photo book of mine and we hit it off. She showed me pictures from Japan, some with cherry blossom trees. She said she was named Sakura, which is "cherry blossom" in Japanese. We arrived at another station and I wanted to pay her back for the ticket. The only place open to make change was a bar. Again I felt a bit awkward, in that I hoped she wasn't thinking who's this crazy American taking her to a bar to get change. I offered to buy her a drink and she ordered a couple of drinks called Milano Spritzi, which are what you're supposed to have in Milan. After a bit, we finished our drinks and parted ways (and after I paid her back). All in all, she was a pleasant surprise to meet. Being in need, I felt God minister to me through her and having a fun turn of awkward events.