My early morning bike rides take me in two directions, sometimes south, sometimes north, usually a combination of both.
I tend to see the same folks out there when I’m riding. They’re walking, running, sitting, watching the sunrise.
I don’t usually approach people. It takes me a long time to build up that kind of courage. This is why I pray for God to let others approach me. I’ll speak to you if you speak to me first. Usually.
About two miles south there’s a man I see sitting at the bus stop, sometimes on the southbound side, sometimes on the northbound side. He’s always dressed the same, digging through his backpack, painfully tan, alone.
Today he was on the northbound side. As I rode passed, he looked up. I smiled and gave a little kid kind of wave in greeting. He smiled and waved back.
And I wondered. Does anyone else see him?
In that spontaneous act of a tiny wave of greeting, the Lord whispered to me. If you have a hard time approaching others, being visible, imagine how painfully hard it is for a homeless man. If you find it unbelievably challenging to get the help you know you need, imagine it from his point of view. I want your heart and soul to be well because you are my messenger, the one who will tell him I see him, I love him, he is not alone.
I understand lonely. I’ve been lonely all my life. Oh I have wonderful friends, awesome kids, a great family, a job. But I also have a really high wall that separates me from all of them, allows me to only get so close, keeps me from letting them get too close.
When I came home from the ship last year, they told me the only way I could come back was to get counseling. I got really angry about that. There’s nothing wrong with me! You just don’t want to accept me for who I am! You don’t even want to try to understand me! were the thoughts that flew around my brain.
After years of trying to figure out who I am by reading books, telling myself I’m fine when others keep asking me if I’m okay with genuine concern, of wanting to change but clinging to the safe but lonely world I know, of wrestling with God about why he made me this way, I’m crying uncle. I give up. God wins. No more excuses.
Wednesday I will meet with a professional Christian counselor, sacrifice time, money, and my carefully constructed wall to God who is calling me to go where I have never EVER wanted to go because going there is so painful to me.
John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Yes Jesus I want to be healed. After all, I am a new creation.
Linking with my friend Charlotte @Spiritual Sundays.