Tuesdays are my traveling days. I drive to my students homes on Tuesdays and since most of my students live rather far away, I get lots of alone-in-the-car time. The first few times I did my Tuesday routine I felt really bored driving so much, but then a brilliant friend of mine recommended talking to God while traveling about. Best idea ever!!! God and I have lots of very extensive conversations now. I told my sister that and she said, "Some conversation. Don't you need someone talking back to have a real conversation?" "No, He talks back."
I didn't really know how to answer that one. I mumbled something about peace and leaves.....I think she thought I was going hippie based on the look she gave me. God does answer though. He does talk back. You just have to be listening for His answer.
I get in my car and drive. Mile by mile my heart is poured out to God. Lesson one down and I hop back in my car. The conversation picks up right where it left off. Then I decide it's time to be quite for a moment and listen.
School lets out a few minutes before I pass the high school. Each week I pass this boy who walks like Christian, with a burdensome backpack on his back. He never smiles and he always walks alone. I wonder why? Is he bullied? Does he just like the fresh air? Does he need alone time after a day with hundreds of youth all around him?
A block away I see the other regular - regular as in, I pass them every week - except she's not walking alone with her headphones on and tears on her cheeks. Today she's walking with a friend and they are laughing. Is that what she needed all this time? A friend? Did she hate walking alone every day?
I pass a gas station. An elderly man with long, shaggy white hair walks down the sidewalk. I chuckle. He looks just like the last picture of Einstein I saw, except for the baggy t-shirt and ripped jeans. He carries two bags of who-knows-what, back hunched over, hair blowing crazy in the wind. What's his life like? What does he do? How many days does he have left here?
Fox Lake; I guess it's really not a small town, it's just easy to get through pretty quickly.....probably because no trains come through at the time I drive by. Sometimes I wonder how old the buildings are. Did anyone ever propose in that gazebo? How many people have boarded the train? How many ants have been killed on that sidewalk?
And suddenly it hits me like a load of bricks. He's answering me. I asked Him, "Why?" and He answers me by saying "Who?"
"Who made each of these people? Who made every tiny piece of everything you see? You wonder about their stories, there histories, there lives. Who already knows that? You know nothing and yet you daily question me. Look, see what I've done. See what I'm doing. Do you have the faith to believe that I am God and I am in control."
A couple weeks ago, in my Biblical Studies of Persecution class, my professor made note of this. He said that often when we ask God the why's in life and rather than handing us the answers we're looking for, He reveals Himself to us more. It's so true. Even when I fail to recognize His revealing, He is always there showing Himself stronger to me. There are stories swirling all around me like the fall leaves. Lives are being lived, lives are being ended. The world is a constant circuit of motion and activity and really, in all honesty, I know nothing. I don't know a thing about their lives other than that I pass them every Tuesday. I don't know what their lives are like, I don't know what they're thinking, what they're going through, and I probably never will know.
God knows all of that! He knows everything about everyone.
My brain cannot comprehend that.
He is infinite and I am finite.
He is worthy of my trust, my faith, my life.....He's worthy of my all.
And that's how He talks to me. Through people, through towns, through leaves, through sidewalks. He speaks, and if I am quiet enough to listen for a moment, I see Him revealing more and more of Himself to me.