Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jesus Was There

I found myself wandering down a dimly lit street. Other footprints covered my path, for many had been in search of what I longed to find. I did not know for sure where this road would lead, or whom I might meet along the way. I passed by houses, churches, schools, train stations and airports.

Further along I traveled until I came upon a hospital room. The room was dark except for the flicker of the television that was mounted in one corner. In the bed was a man who was left alone with his labored breaths. As he counted his last days, he thought back over his life and wondered why no one was there. He was alone, but by his bed, Jesus was there.

I journeyed further down the road and found myself standing before the window of a small apartment. The walls were plain and the space was scarcely filled. On an old, stained couch sat a mother cradling her young son. His trusting eyes couldn’t conceive what her sad eyes sought to conceal. Through birth she had passed to him a virus that would claim both their lives. Who infected her, she did not know. Most that passed her door looked away in scorn, but in her cold home, Jesus was there.

I continued my walk and stumbled upon a courtroom. I stepped in just in time to hear the gavel strike and attorneys close their brief cases. On opposite sides of the aisle stood a man and woman. Only a short while ago, they vowed to remain together until death did them part, but now they were preparing to leave the court in separate directions. They are both angry and hurt, and they refuse to look at the other. He blames her, she blames him and they both blame themselves. Watching them pass through the door, and wanting to hold them both, Jesus was there.

The road before me stretched on and in the distance the sound of laughter filled my ears. I followed the sound and was delighted to discover that it came from children playing in a schoolyard. They laughed and ran, swung and climbed. Each one had a friend, except for one. Sitting alone under the slide was a boy who couldn’t seem to make any friends. He loved to play, but he couldn’t understand the other children’s games. He needed special attention, but his parents could not afford a special teacher for him. So, he was in school with the other children. Each day he sat alone, but not alone. Deep in his heart, Jesus was there.

I stayed on my path until it led me to a little girl. Her skin was fair and her hair dark. Her forehead bore a mark on its center that identified her race and nationality. She seemed to be about eight years old, but her face carried burdens of one much older. She had been born to parents that could not afford to care for her, so they betrothed her to a man from a neighboring village. He took her and married her in the night. Now, she sits alone facing a life she does not understand. She was far from her mother and father, but Jesus was there.

I pressed on and found myself having come seemingly full circle, as I stood once again in a hospital. This time I stood in a room without a television. Lying alone on a bed was a young woman who was riddled with regret for the decision she had just made. When she awoke that morning, there was a life inside her. Now, that life has been taken. She cried out for someone to take the pain away, but her cries went unanswered. Except for the receptionist who collected her payment, there was no one around, but Jesus was there.

As I continued to travel, my mind replayed all that I had seen. I passed by many more people, and I witnessed many more things. Time would fail me to share them all, but in each place, Jesus was there. I know there is a place for me, a place where I can do what I have been destined to do. If I keep pressing on, I will find that place . . . or wait! Perhaps, I have already found it . . . Jesus was there!