“Moving in silent desperation
Keeping an eye on the Holy Land
A hypothetical destination
Say, who is this walking man?

-James Taylor

I’ve never been much a headphones type of guy. During this social distancing nightmare though, I’ve taken to doing long walks with headphones attached. It’s become a sort of ritual. I see people blocks ahead and I dutifully do the right thing… I go out into the road and concede the sidewalk…it’s a Corona thing.

Sadly, many other rituals are taking form…Many, as I pass them, look straight ahead or worse, look down, like penitent children on the way to the principal’s office. I don’t assume that people want to make eye contact…even with masks and gloves, eye contact apparently is risky business in a pandemic.

After some nifty footwork I reclaimed to sidewalk for at least next few blocks. But the “S” Curve at the new Tractor Store—that’s always a place to be extra careful. Construction cones have eliminated the bike lane and facing ongoing traffic requires a heightened sense of caution. Having navigated the danger zone, I turned up the volume and put on my earphones again.

“Hey!”

I was so startled I almost dove into the ditch; assuming a gravel truck was bearing down on me. Suddenly there was a young a man next to me.

“Out for a walk? Can I walk with you?”
What he said next caught me off guard
“You look like a guy who could tell me something”

I took off the headphones and started to listen. He started to pour his heart out. He had just been booted out of a relative’s car when he saw me walking the other direction. It would be wrong for me to give any detail of our conversation. Let it suffice to say the Lord gave me exactly the right things to say.

I told him about how I came to know the Lord and how God’s promises are true, and how He could help him too. We sat down on two big rocks right at the intersection with the highway. I asked him if it would be alright if we prayed. He was crying now…

We bowed our heads and I quoted a verse from Lamentations. (a lot of what we covered was his anxiety about what was going on right now)

The wormwood and the gall and the bitterness…my soul thinks of it and is bowed deep within me…but this one thing I call to mind and thus I have hope…the steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases…His mercies are new EVERY morning…Great is Thy Faithfulness Oh God
Lamentations 3:19-23

After we prayed, we got up and he asked, “Can I give you a hug?”

We violated social distancing and He went on his way.

He had previously said, “I’ve interrupted your walk” I thought as I walked away. ”No that’s what my walk is all about” As we walk through these tense times, why not face down the fear, go for a walk and expect that someone is waiting at the ‘S’ curve? Who knows? You might look like someone who has something to tell someone.
 
Pastor Jim

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