By Tom Ehrich

After the Jazz/Gospel service early Sunday afternoon, I ate a slow Thai lunch at 84th and Lexington and headed up to 85th for a cookie before my evening commitment.

Outside Koffeecake Corner I came upon a fellow singer in the Gospel Choir. Big smile, warm greeting, wasn’t the service awesome, waiting for my friends, have you tried their cookies, see you at rehearsal.

Those two minutes proved two things. First, even in Manhattan, you occasionally see someone you know on the street.

Second, that seeing is like meeting up with God. A surprise, a delight, it transforms an ordinary street corner. I am part of something bigger than the world I see and touch every day.

If faith is shared primarily by stories, then faith will be a small canvas that shows a single glimpse of God’s reality, but also suggests something far larger.

That larger isn’t something we can control or comprehend; our insistence on doctrines and “truths” has been prideful. The more that is God will always extend far beyond our sight. When Jesus showed startled disciples his hands and side, they had no idea what they were seeing. It was enough for the moment, and later they would see more. Other followers would see even more than that — and God would still be beyond our grasp.

It is enough to be surprised by small glimpses. Open minds matter more than settled beliefs.

Later, at Lifeline, a friend who has reached a critical stage in recovery from addiction said her oldest child had called after a long silence. That call brightened her day at the recovery center where she lives for now. It reminded her of the more in her own life.