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Aaron Johnson: New York eyes

Recently my wife, Denise, and I traveled to New York City to celebrate our 40 th wedding anniversary.

Our anniversary is Dec. 17; her birthday is Dec. 27; and every year that we have been
married they have put Christmas on Dec. 25!

Yes, some would say I am a scheduling genius.

We like going to the city around Christmas time because of the cold weather, the change in culture, and the beautiful decorations. One of our favorite parts of the city is Central Park. This year we decided we would rent bikes and ride the loop around the park. The loop is 6.2 miles and, in my estimation, every bit is beautiful. You can really lose the sense of being in a city of more than 7 million people and touch nature.

We chose a rental booth across from Trump Tower at the southwest corner of the city. On that corner, there is a large concrete gathering place with steps that lead down to the paved paths and the whole of the park. We paid our rental, collected our bikes and prepared for the ride.

Denise is usually the photographer. I asked for her phone so I could take a picture of her on the bike with the beautiful trees in the background. She is super photogenic as well as just plain, old beautiful. So the shot was perfect.

A small group of people walked around us to give us a good uninterrupted shot. One of the  young ladies asked if we would like for her to make a picture of both of us. We immediately passed her the phone/camera and I took a position with my rental bike beside Denise.

After she took the shot. I thanked her and asked where she was from. She smiled and said, “Oh, I’m from Alabama.”

With glee, Denise and I both said, “We are too!” It really sounded like we had rehearsed it.

“I’m from Birmingham,” she replied.

We both said in unison, “We are from Guntersville!” Seriously it sounded like we were there on a choir tour.

Then she focused on me and asked, “Are you Aaron Johnson?” I was stunned. Obviously, she was a faithful reader of Yellowhammer News and had been inspired by my writing.

Well, it was possible.

When I nodded my head, she just shouted a little. Then she said, “You did his mother’s funeral!”

As she spoke, she pointed to a man in her company. She called him back and he recognized me. After introductions were made, I immediately remembered his mother. We had a moment of remembrance and greetings then we were all off on bikes.

This month I celebrate my 40th year of being in ministry in a local church. I have served in Guntersville, Boaz, Athens, Atlanta, Louisiana, Frankfurt and Nuremberg, Germany. I have lived my life under the microscope.

Everywhere I go I just assume someone is watching and taking notes. You never know when a kind word you speak may bless someone or a terse word or deed may wound someone. You never know who is watching you.

I think life is best lived as if someone is watching. On pretty good authority, I can promise you that someone is.

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and the pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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