We’ve spent some time in September talking about talking with God (commonly known as praying). Rich Dixon continues thinking about prayer and spaces.
I’m talking about prayer and a place I can visit when I’m struggling to talk to Jesus. You can read the first part (loving myself) here.
Reminder: it’s an actual location – and a metaphor. As you read, perhaps you’ll imagine you and me resting peacefully next to a river, beside a bike path that disappears into dense woods.
People bike, skate, walk, or run. We can’t see where they came from or where they’re going. They’re immersed in surrounding beauty or lost in thought, focused on workout or destination. They travel alone or in groups. Some pass silently, some stop and talk.
Jesus reminds us to see Him in each traveler’s face. Some boast specialized attire and the latest high-tech gear. Some appear homeless, lugging ragtag belongings in rickety, makeshift carts. The guy blasting the annoying music, the lady who ignores us… “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The path and the people aren’t about you or me. They aren’t ours to control. It’s not our job to figure out why they’re here or whether they’re traveling the correct route. We can greet each person without judgment, secure in the knowledge that God created the path and guides the people on it.
In this place, Jesus reminds us that people came from different directions and entered the path at different points. Our individual stories brought us to this shared encounter.
Jesus asks us to experience each person as they are. We can leave past and future to Him and simply be here in the present.
Jesus uses this peaceful spot to speak to you and me, to help us listen, to teach us how to love others unconditionally.
Next time: the river.