Monday, March 16, 2009

Stalk him.... Stalk me...

"Please tell me", I had asked "tell me what I am 'pretending not to know' ". I waited. I asked again. Later, he replied: "When you are still...."

I knew exactly where I needed to go - the old trestle bridge, where we'd met over a decade ago. As I drove the road toward that part of town, I thought to myself "I really need to keep some boots - or sneakers at least - in my car for this kind of thing". I was not prepared for a serious hike - fortunately, it was a short walk, on level ground.

As I parked, I noticed the daffodils I had planted on the hillside between "The Womb House" and the trail had multiplied greatly and were in full bloom. Planted years ago, and left in His care, they had thrived.

As I neared the bridge, I anticipated the breeze. It didn't come. A small gaggle of Canada Geese cackled loudly. Ah, distractions of the world... "I know You are here!" I said aloud. "You are always here!" At the near end, I slipped off my shoes and socks, and walked barefoot across the wooden boards that lined the floor of the old railroad bridge.

I found the spot where I'd spent so much time in the early years. I signed a verse and a chorus of "Word of God Speak". Then, I stood silently and watched the trees and the water. I looked up as I heard the rustle of the wings of birds fly overhead.

Then I kneeled - and prayed. "I am here, Lord. I will be still. I know You have heard me, and I will wait..." I shifted my position so that I was sitting crossed legged, peering at the ripples on the water through the rails of the bridge. I sat for a while, and then, I nodded. "Yes, You are right... I know...."

Tears ran down my cheeks, but were short lived. There is hope. Of that I am certain! I sat quietly for a while. Then a young man walked passed. "Peaceful place, huh?" he said. "Very." I replied.

I was not used to meeting people on this trail. I wasn't much up for conversation, either. I continued to sit quietly staring out over the water. The breeze began to stir and brush my cheek, my hair. I closed my eyes.... peaceful.

And then it began.... "You come here often?" I chuckled to myself. "No... not anymore" I said aloud, and "no, no, no, no, no..." I said silently to the clouds. But it had begun, and it would continue...

For the next hour, I heard this young man share his story - legal issues, broken home(s), homelessness,... and the Grace of God. He didn't speak it directly, but it was there, woven between the lines of his story.

At one point, his story turned... "... and then I found Jesus..." From there on, the story focused on - in his words - "doing right", and prayers answered. He hasn't mastered it, but neither have I. We're both "waiting"...

Driving home, I just chuckled and laughed at how crazy-funny God is sometimes... and then I was reminded. Maybe he wasn't there for me. Maybe it was the other way around.

Prayers for you, Paul, as you continue to "do right". If and when you head overseas, know that you are in the palm of His hand.

May He continue to "stalk" you.....

.... and me.....

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