I was taking in the beauty of a perfect Saturday morning walk along the bike path, near my house. I kept stretching it out further and further before my typical turnaround point. I could hear loud noises, that as I got closer I thought was either a Saturday military training or a youth sports team practicing.
I kept strolling along and what I thought I heard was changing. To my dismay, as I could finally make it out, a young man was going off (and I mean off) on one or two young ladies. The language was not for the faint at heart. I was nearing a point where I could come into contact, but it was wrapping up and he pulled off in his truck glaring at me as he drove off for about 50 yards.
Dumbfounded, I felt as if the Holy Spirit had me go that far in my walk (longer than usual) to catch that moment. I felt anger, what did that woman or women do to deserve that. His anger continued on as he could have had laser holes shoot through me. Quickly, this feeling turned to compassion and not of my own making. Who hurt this man? This doesn’t happen in isolation, or maybe that’s why it happened. Who loves this guy? Truly loves him?
I knew I was to turn off my podcast and pray for this guy, and I did. How deep was his pain and hurt? I have close to 30 people I know praying for me regularly. What if no one prays for him regularly? What if no one has ever prayed for him? That may sound farfetched, or is it?
I continued to walk in confidence of what God has placed around me, but brokenness in what I’m guessing this young man lacks. I prayed for breakthrough that day. That the overwhelming, perfect, overflowing love of God would splash over him and flood him that day. I told God I wanted him to know someone was praying for him that day, that moment, in a way that drew Him to the Father.
Two thoughts, hit me.
My impression based on that one moment was far from good. We all know we never have a second chance at making a good first impression. I know I’ve been received poorly a time or two, and more. I am a Jeni’s (if you don’t know, stop now and buy some) ice cream flavor. No chocolate or vanilla, I’m a funky flavor like cucumber huckleberry or something. Love me or hate me.
Life is all about the moments. Every moment matters. Long time sports writer, Christine Brennan, once wrote about her dad and said he constantly told her life is not a dress rehearsal. Everything counts and is live. Michael W Smith said in a recent matter his dad taught him there is nothing isolated with God. Every moment, every action, everything is connected. That’s scary on one hand and humbling on another. But it makes me want to embrace every moment.
Mentor and good friend, Bill Brown, spoke often when he was involved in the Gathering of the Miami Valley of “A good life is made up of good years, which is made up of good days, which is made up of good moments.” So true! It’s where legacies are built. I’m praying for that man I saw in a moment, that he has a flurry of coming good moments, that will alter his life to some great years and a good life.
Secondly, I realize we all have a story. It’s changing and has new pages and chapters added daily. We all have joys, struggles, victories, losses, agonies, heartaches. We need each other and as we lean in and do life together, God uses us to help one another heal and breathe new life in. I’m convinced and bet my life on that.
As we close, I want to leave you with two gifts that speak to this second part. We need to see and hear stories and we need to connect and live in community. Chick-Fil-A paints a great picture and For King and Country has a new song that speaks to this.