Present Past Memory

Random Stop

I stood on the corner with a bearded man, his face worn, but he was smiling. His life has taken him on a path of many steps, from the familiar to the I-don’t-know-what’s-next-chapter, right now.

But his joy at receiving a few hand warmers and a new blanket were obvious. I discovered he and I lived in California, at the same time, many years ago. And we’re the same age.

His face lit up and despite the temperature outside, our hearts were transcended to a season of warm memories, to a time when we were both much younger.

He told me of his many motorcycle trips, and the highways he rode. They turned out to be the same roads that I traveled while living in California.

Not So Random

So we reminisced and chatted about where life is leading him.

He shook his head at choices, at wrong turns. And I shared some of my own missteps.

Our chat would bring us to the ‘present moment” (in Texas), where we spoke of how God says, “I am the Bread of Life. How He is the Light of the World. How He is the Way and the Truth. And how He is enough.”

You know, sometimes we walk the same roads with another, and never meet (1975-1981). But at the right time, the Lord can bring two people together at the same spot, a zillion years later. To a moment in time where we (both) could find strength, in knowing God is with us and for us.

My friend told me, “Some of my best days were riding my motorcycle, back in the day. I miss those rides.”

“I have some pretty fond memories in California too, like the warm weather, the places to eat at the beach, the beauty of the area.”

My friend tugged on his coat, pulling it tighter around his chest. “We could use some of that warm weather here in Texas.”

“No doubt. It is freezing out here.”

“Well, you better go. I don’t want to keep you.”

“I’m good. Tell me about one of your trips on that bike.”

Purposed Random

He settled in with the details of a story, of a memory which captured me, and his words were like an ocean breeze across my heart. It was like he hadn’t told anyone that memory in years.

He wiped his face, like men do, when they don’t want you to see them cry. But it didn’t matter, for I wept with him. His story stirred up some of my own broken steps (road trips) which included, enduring losing a friend to a murder, to facing cancer, to living through a divorce.

“Are you okay, Ms. Pam?”

“Yes, when I think of the grace the Lord has given me, I often weep at His love for me. I don’t want to forget that.”

“Me, either. He’s been good to me.”

As we stood on the corner, it’s as if the Lord knew that I needed to meet L. And maybe, L., needed to meet me—so we could create a “new memory” as we spoke of God, of mercy, of love, and of grace. So we could tell that story to someone–someday! On yet, another street corner!

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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