Ty was gone for the week. Summer camp. I missed my running partner, but wasn’t about to skip training simply because he was gone. To my surprise, (and delight) Tim grabbed his tenny’s out of the closet and announced that he’d run with me.
(The fact that I felt sorry for the man and informed my love that he need not apologize if perhaps he find himself unable to keep up with me is beside the point. As is the fact that he ran the two miles with ease, barely breaking a sweat.)
As soon as we rounded the corner out of our driveway, we saw the red and blue lights of several police cars a half-mile away. So we decided to run that direction. Naturally. J
As we approached, we noticed two policemen standing on the side of the road. No other cars. No other people. No nothing.
My interest was peeked, but since my side was hurting… AND I still had a mile and a half to run… AND they weren’t offering up any answers, I kept moving.
Tim and I reached our halfway point and turned around. Ahead of us, we could see the lights still flashing and again we questioned what was happening. Our road normally has little traffic – especially at six in the morning, so why were two police cars sitting there for so long?
My question was soon answered when an ambulance pulled up behind the police and a couple of EMT’s helped a man in handcuffs up and out of the ditch.
I couldn’t believe it. I had just run through there and never noticed him lying there. How could I have missed it?
But the question that hung in my mind that day and the days following is this - “what am I missing?”
In this race called ‘life’, my focus is often on my goals, my needs, my hurts, my… At times I come upon a distraction that actually pulls my attention elsewhere, rather than on the real problem, and I find myself wondering if am I so intent on fulfilling my own desires that I never notice the hurting soul lying in the ditch beside me?
My heart begs for the answer to be “no”, but the unfortunate truth is that sometimes we miss it. Sometimes we fail to see the pain hidden deep in the souls of those around we. Sometimes we fail to recognize the loneliness… the hurt… the sorrow… the brokenness.
Sometimes we miss it.
I love the words I found in Philippians. It says:
If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ,
if his love has made any difference in your life,
if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you,
if you have a heart,
if you care— then do me a favor:
Agree with each other,
love each other,
be deep-spirited friends.
Don't push your way to the front;
don't sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
I find that when I forget myself, in an effort to help another, my own hurts… my own pain… my own needs lose their grip.
It is there I discover a healing balm for my own weary soul... and it is there I find the strength that is needed to finish strong.