Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pray For The Stranger

Pray for the stranger, my friend told me.
Perhaps my friend’s advice came from River Jordan’s book, Praying For Strangers.  The author, River Jordan, tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery  Jordan made along her  journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers, but the unexpected connections she made with others became a profound experience which changed her life.

Traveling, of course  is an adventure in discovering new and beautiful vistas. It stirs the  soul and fill one   with humility. As the miles add up, the experiences become a part of the adventurer.

But I discovered that something even more profound happens, something  which is not about driving a racecar at every super speedway in the country. Experiencing the physical beauty of this country draws me along, but life I have found, is about so much more than the physical experiences …if I can only see.

In 1999, I lost my daughter. No she did not die. She
and I chose different paths, which neither of us approved. At that time I asked my higher power, which I choose to call God, to watch over her and I prayed for the strangers who would help her on her journey. Our separate journeys stretched over sixteen years with no contact.

The people she and I encountered along our journeys became a part of us, as assuredly as the beauty and ugliness we witnessed along the way. My heart ached, some days more than others during those sixteen years, as I am sure hers did as well.  She and I are reunited now, through miracles, which would require too many pages to explain --if miracles can indeed be explained.

Today I am inspired by a  man named Len whom I met yesterday.  He is a gentle soul, a man, who like so many other Americans I have met along the way,  has lived a simple life. He worked hard and had the love of a good woman.

  But life is a series of   challenges. Life is full of life. The trees learn to withstand the gales, the bear and the deer survive the winters. The love of Len’s life suffered a loss.  She lost a child. The tragedy ripped the heart form her core –– the gale so strong, so deep, even though she struggled against the forces, she became bereft. With nothing left to share with Len, she left him.

Len can’t stop loving her. What they accomplished together, he explained to me beats anything either of them did alone. So now, Len fills his time with his travels. He lives his life with the faith, or at least the hope, that his love will come back to him.

When I miss  someone whom I believe might be  the better half of me, but  beyond my reach , or when  I dream that impossible dream  for that achievement  which  might make my  life complete  –– Faith and Acceptance are the only avenues that will lead me to my goal.

No matter how strong  the gale –– no matter how cold  

the winter –– no matter how often I look out the window, hoping to see the  change come walking down the path that will make my  life complete – No matter what ––  I live my life.

Often acceptance and faith are thin. It is then I pray for the strangers who will intercede.  In the past, the strangers in my life and my daughter’s during those sixteen years of separation, affected us,  made us who we are today, and made us able to love one another again. Our love could never be as deep and rich as it is now, if it had not been for the journey we traveled and  the strangers who led  us here –right here –– right now – at this very moment.

So hang on, Len. The  ride will be amazing. It is my experience,  the more the acceptance, the stronger the faith, the smoother the  ride. 
Today,  with acceptance and faith, I inhale the vistas

and soak up the souls of the places and people  I pass. The ride, whether it be on a Harley, in Winnebago, on a subway or in a car, it is only a preparation for something outstanding and miraculous.

The destination, with the help of the strangers along the way,  will be beyond anything I can imagine.  

Don't forget: Pray for the strangers.


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