My photographer husband was looking for a good sunset photo. I was hoping to add a few steps to my Fitbit number when we headed to one of our favorite spots along Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The weather was unpleasant, and I added less than 2000 steps. The sunset was less than spectacular, and Ron didn’t bother taking pictures. We did, however, have a blessed encounter.
Ron spoke with a homeless couple while I waited in a nice warm car. They told him they were waiting on a check to arrive, but until then, they couldn’t afford a place to live. They’d walked all the way from Spokane on the chilly, rainy day, the man pushing a shopping cart and the woman pulling a wagon containing their earthly possessions.
Ron shared the biggest part of the contents of his wallet with the couple. When He asked permission to take their picture, the man said, “That would be real nice.” Afterward, he thanked Ron for doing so.
As I watched this scene unfold from the comfort of our car, I felt a nudge in my heart to get out and visit with them, ask them about their story. Experience has taught me most people like to share their stories with a willing listener.
But I didn’t. Insecurity and fatigue were greater than the nudge. Opening my heart to listen to someone’s story requires emotional energy and vulnerability. I also felt afraid. Fear created by insecurity, but also because the low growls of the dog walking with them were intimidating!
Insecurity and fear often keep us from listening to another’s story.
This couple reminds me we all have a story. I have a story. My husband has a story. Every person reading this post has a story.
Every person we’ve seen on our televisions recently has a story.
Every protestor, peaceful or destructive,
Every law enforcement officer,
Every biologically determined skin tone,
Every member of every faith tradition,
Each one has a story. Stories filled with chapters: some joyful, some hopeful, some sad, some right-down brutal.
One recent day, I entered this prayer in my journal:
God With Us,
You came into a dark world to bring good news of good love
To the poor, the disenfranchised, the abused, the lonely, the prisoner,
To those who cannot or will not see.
You came to bring freedom to all who would step into Your freedom.
I lift up the broken pieces of my own heart, the gaps in my own understanding
To You, the Only One who loves and understands perfectly.
In my prayer to You, I request a tomorrow much different than today;
A tomorrow when grace will be written into stories
Whose chapters have been filled with suffering, sorrow, and sadness.
Bring healing, wholeness, and wellness to
Bodies, minds, emotions, relationships, and spirits.
Re-form this broken world with Your Divine Love!
May you experience Divine love this day…
- See Luke 4:14-21 ↑