People You Meet Along the Road

People You Meet Along the Road

I am always amazed at the places where I encounter the sacred and those moments that leave me feeling that I have communed with spirit. More often than not these places have nothing at all to do with the physical building that we know as church, and they are not connected with worship or anything remotely spiritual. This past week I had one such encounter.

An Amazing Encounter

I was walking from home to the church when I came upon a stranger on the road. We had both come to the intersection at the same time. She said

“Hi! Are you easily grossed out?”

Not the usual greeting one gets, that is for sure. My response – “No, I have a pretty strong stomach.” Then she proceeded to tell me the story of how she lost the top of her finger and that she still has it sealed in a baggie and that it is completely mummified. Of course, what followed was a time of show and tell as she showed me her finger. It was a strange way to begin a conversation, that is for sure, but it was an amazing encounter.

What followed, as we walked, was a time of deep sharing. She told me about her struggle with addiction and her getting clean”. She talked about this time of isolation and the weird situation that we find ourselves in. When the time came for us to part company she said

“Thanks for listening. Now you can tell people that you met someone who has her own mummified finger! Have a great day!”

She crossed the road and I continued my journey to the church and I listened as she greeted the next person she saw with a smile and a wave

“Beautiful day, isn’t it.”

And I thought to myself, “Yes! Yes it is indeed beautiful!”

The People You Meet Along the Road

n the days since this encounter my mind has returned often to the exchange between two strangers on the road. In a few brief moments

I received the gift of laughter;

shared in a moment of connection around common concerns;

was blessed with the opportunity to hold another person’s story and celebrate with her, her freedom; and

in the process my spirit was lifted.

I wonder how often Jesus’ experienced this as he moved through town and country side having random conversations with those he met? I imagine that it was quite often and from each encounter came moments of insight and wonder and a time to feel the presence of Divine. We see this evidenced in the many stories that have been passed on to us in the gospels – Jesus and Nicodemus; Jesus and the woman at the well; Jesus and Zacchaeus; Jesus and the persistent widow and the list goes on.

My prayer for you this day is that you

take the time to carry out those random conversations with the people you meet along the road,
remembering that, as you look into the eyes of another, there is Jesus looking right back at you.


© 2020 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury

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