Saturday was a wonderful day. My youngest son and I had a great 20 mile ride down the back roads into town with and against gusting winds. That in itself was a great and simple moment because he pushed me to keep pedaling.
Here is a some simple moment that I encountered on our ride:
We stopped at a gas station to get some Powerade. We were pouring the Powerade into our water bottles and as I threw the empty bottles in the garbage can a guy in a pickup truck says to me, “I got a lot of respect for you guys. It takes heart and commitment to stay healthy and do what you’re doing.” This dude was probably in his late 50s and weighed 300lbs+. I said, “Dude, you can do this. Anyone can do this if they put their heart into it.” He said, “Really? How could I? Look at me.” My reply was, “Start on a stationary bike and get used to being on a bike. Learn to use the bike and all its features. Next thing you know you’ll be healthier. You may be out here with us someday.” He smiled and thanked me.
Simple conversation? Sure. The thing is the dude had teary eyes throughout the conversation. I don’t know what was going on with him. It’s possible it was that someone believed he could get healthy, or that someone spoke to him with true care and concern. I tried to discern the situation and all I know is that it spoke to my heart. I sensed the Spirit doing a simple work in that conversation. I failed to get the dude’s name, but I prayed for him as we rode away. My prayer was that he would encounter the Lord in his new confidence to get healthy. Also, that whatever was wearing heavy on his heart would be lifted by the Spirit.
We can speculate and imagine what caused him to get teary eyed. My heart tells me he was struggling with something concerning himself and maybe family. See, there are people around us who are living in defeat. Sometimes a word of encouragement can give them the confidence and hope they need for the next challenge. Our words might talk people out of something dreadful and into something hopeful. Life’s challenges are always before us and how we respond to them says a lot about us, our relationship with Christ and our relationship with humanity.
What did I learn? To see people through the eyes of Jesus and to love always.