There is this street, Lombard Street, that people come to far and wide in San Francisco. They come around the back side of this famous lane and drive down what is known as the crookedest street in the city. Now, if you haven’t been to Lombard, you have to know that this is on everyone’s stop at least once when they visit. It draws thousands and thousands of people. Tour buses and trolley cars drop people off so they can look over the top and see the winding cobblestone curves, the quaint homes, and the amazing view. This place was on our SF bucket list.
We saved it until the early morning when we were saying goodbye to San Francisco. Everyone knows Lombard as the crookedest street. Thats why they talk about it, take photos of it, and visit it. And guess what? On that bus tour I mentioned in my last post, where we learned more than that Pearl Jam is better than any girlfriend you’ll ever date , we also learned Lombard is not the crookedest street in San francisco!
Whaaaaaaaaaaat? How can this be? Why have tourists been taking family photos there for years? Why are we filming goofball family videos driving down this road? And why does it even matter?
There is another road, apparently called Vermont Street and maybe if you are from those parts you have heard of it, but for the rest of us travelers who road trip, boat up or fly in, we haven’t. I personally have been to San Fran several times. I had grandparents who lived there, I spent my 21st birthday there, which I might have to save for a later post:) In all my visits, no one ever told me about Vermont Street. Apparently, it is way more windy, is steeper and would win the giant gold medal for “crookedest” street in San Francisco. But no one is looking at Vermont Street.
As we drove down this road I was thinking….I think humans are so quick to judge, to call crooked “crookedest” and then that’s all something will ever be. Even more, I think those of us who have struggled with the pain and destruction of sin and God’s desire for humanity to live rightly, we might be some of the worst to deem one thing more crooked than another. We often find ourselves in mental matches determining what is worse, this sin or that sin? We know in our hearts we would rather have our kids committing this rotten act than this one. We stop talking to people because they actually had the audacity to be doing this and at least we only do this. These are the kinds of things we find ourselves thinking and saying. We deem someone the crookedest of all crooked. And that’s all she wrote.
But I wonder if the crookedest of the crooked are the paths no one is looking at. Just like Vermont Street. Yes, there are crooked places in our lives that people notice, that are outright, that can be seen. But perhaps, if we want to award a gold medal to the most crooked, because it seems like we do….perhaps that should go the one whose crookedness is going unnoticed. Because it is in the unnoticed places that you don’t get help. It is in the secrets that you downward spiral. It is all alone that you don’t hear truth because you aren’t inviting visitors who will point out your crookedness.
We are often most fearful about certain paths we have deemed as the most crooked. I wonder if we should be most scared of the paths no one is noticing, including our own.