A walk with the Lord
On a lazy, warm day last week, I thought I would
take a walk around the neighborhood to see the autumn leaves.
I walked down the driveway and as I came to the road in front
of our house, I paused to make a decision on whether to go to
the right, up the hill, or go left down the hill. I decided to
go right and make the small climb first. Just over the hill, maybe
300 yards, I came to an intersection and there again had to make
a decision on which way to go. This time I would go to the left.
As I was entering the other road I was greeted by another man
going in my direction and we walked together, talking and getting
to know one another. Our talk was very intense which made us walk
in a very slow motion down the road we were traveling. We would
kick a small stone with the toe of our shoe. Pause long enough
to pick up a small stick, that laid along the side and roll it
in our hands or perhaps brake it into little pieces, all the while
carrying on the conversation.
I asked him if he lived in this area, not ever seeing him before.
He said he had lived here all his life and that he knew me very
well. That kind of jolted me a little, but then I had run a business
and there were many that knew me from being a person in the forefront
of things and also I had been part of a singing group and there
were many that saw me in that respect. After all, I had lived
here for 50 years also, and had come to meet a lot of people.
His face was very familiar, if you know what I mean. It was as
if I should be able to put a name on him but couldn't, at least
at this time, I was thinking that if I kept on talking it would
come to me. He seemed to be in his thirties somewhere and was
so polite and courteous. He talked with a smile and the most beautiful
way of hand gesturing I had ever seen.
He said; you see that big oak there and those pines with the
small needles. Look down in that low place at that big shellbark
hickory with the squirrel on the second limb to the left. I planted
all those trees back some time ago. Now I'm not the brightest
little boy in the class but even I can do thought processes of
figuring out that if he is in his thirties and those trees are
about one hundred years old, well? How do I answer that? Then
I realized he was baiting me and intended me to have an answer,
the right answer. Cleverly I sort of changed the direction of
the conversation a bit and said; I planted some trees on my property,
back when my wife and I first moved here in the seventies, and
they are getting pretty large. In fact, I had to cut one of them,
that was in front of our house, and I sawed several 2" x
6"'s from it. Without changing facial expressions he said;
I know. You know where I live? I asked. Oh yes, I've been there
many times. No wonder his face is so familiar, I thought thinking
maybe he had brought some saw chains in to be sharpened.
We walked on, talking about various things. I mentioned that
it sure was a delightful day and that the weather sure had been
beautiful these last few days. He replied that all these people
around here, and he gestured with his hand, they all have a different
opinion about what the weather should be like. Some think it should
be warmer. Some think it should be cooler. Some think it too wet
while others think it is too dry. You are praising the Lord for
the beautiful leaves and others are cursing because they have
to rake them away. It's hard to satisfy everybody, you know. I
bet it's hard for the Lord to manage that, I said. He replied!
You got that right, for sure.
As we went on, we came to a house trailer along the road. He
asked if I knew who lived there. Nooo-, I don't, I replied. I
don't know them either, he said. I sure would like to meet them
or have them come to me. Maybe you could get to know them and
introduce them to me, he said. I know they are very fine people
that have been too busy and just haven't taken the time to meet
people around here. That seems to be story I hear a lot.
Then we came to a little country church, by the side of the road
that was perhaps one hundred maybe one hundred and fifty years
old. I said that I used to go to that church, back many years
ago, but my wife and I go to another church now, called, Faith
In God Chapel, down on Tabor road, about ten miles from here.
We left this church when we no longer felt that we were welcome
here. I know the feeling, he said. There are times when no one
will welcome a person a place to lay their head. I might as well
tell you the reason for the unwelcome ness. You see we got baptized
in the Holy Ghost and ever after that I guess we looked and acted
strange to them and they didn't want any change in their church.
We were told that it had been like that for nigh on as long as
anyone could remember and they wanted to keep it that-a-way. Yea,
he said. I know most of those people there and they know me. Some,
however, say they know me but I have never, I say never known
them. You talk like you go to that church, I said. For the most
part, he said. But sometimes they shut the door on me and won't
let me in. And you keep going back? I asked. Well! What's a person
going to do? There's a couple families that keep inviting me back
and I can't disappoint them, you know. I'm just that way.
Well; we walked and talked for over two hours when we came full
circle back to my driveway. We shook hands and a special feeling
went through my whole body, at the touch of his hand. I said "good-bye"
and headed for my house and he said to tell everybody they ought
to walk more. I had only gone maybe three steps when I remembered
who He was. I turned to say-----. He was gone. Nowhere in sight.
I just stood there in the driveway looking up in the sky at the
clouds and thinking---"What a day this has been".