Monday, October 24, 2011

Along the Road of Life

Do you ever wake up in the morning thinking about something and then realize that your thoughts could make a difference to someone else's life, or your own for that matter? I do sometimes but because of the rush to meet the new day neglect to write it down. This morning I decided to write a Blog post first thing so as not to lose the image I had when I woke up.
In my previous post Homecoming, I wrote about the fact that on a long trip like that you find yourself travelling with the same cars all the way. Well this morning I woke up thinking about that. I have been speaking to my friends about this attribute of long distance travel but my way of talking is never about the obvious and somehow I always look for deeper connections to life. The way I see this particular observation is that is what life is, a long journey.
The image I had was of a dirt road with many many people all moving along it in the same direction. Their clothing looked like the styles of possibly medieval times, lots of browns and not very clean and lots of them were carrying bags or bundles. Along the sides of the road was a ditch filled with mud and filth but there were people wallowing in the ditch covered with the filth and obviously not in a good place at all. Most of the people along the road ignored those in the ditch and seemed to be just trudging along, heads bowed and just trying to get to their destination, wherever that was.
I remember a woman in the ditch reaching up to anyone who would help her but she was ignored. She was crying and holding her child to her breast trying to keep it alive but no matter how much she struggled she could not get back on her feet. There were other people in the ditch who were laughing at her and pulling her back every time she tried to stand, they were pulling her clothes off and grabbing her not helping her out but instead mocking her and keeping her down.
I must tell you that I was only an observer of all of this. I was not moving along the road but seemed to be standing above it just watching what was going on.
Those on the road who did notice the woman just turned their faces away or made disparaging remarks and left her there, none of them would touch her, she was covered in filth and they didn't want to get it all over themselves.
Beyond the ditch on either side were fields of green grass with flowers growing up between the grasses and in the distance to the right was a line of shady trees. On the left in the distance was a range of mountains. The right hand side of the picture seemed to be sunny and welcoming while the left was overcast and brooding. I couldn't see very far in front along the road nor could I see where all these people had come from. The ditch where the woman was struggling was strangely enough on the right of the road.
Now there is a conclusion to all of this, it reminded me of the story in the book of Luke where Jesus tells about a man who had been robbed and was lying in a ditch on the side of the road covered in muck and blood. He too was ignored by those along the road, in fact they actively shunned him, not wanting to get involved. But there was one man who was filled with compassion and he reached out to this poor man and took him into his arms, lifting him onto his own mule and taking care of him in every way possible.
In my vision I saw a man reach down to the woman in the ditch and gently taking her by the hand helped her back onto the road, he took off his coat and removing hers exchanged it for his own. He then took up her bundle and lifting her child onto his back started off down the road with her by his side. No one else took any notice of what was going on but they did pull up their noses whenever they looked at the man whose coat was now covered in mud and filth.
The conclusion of the matter is this, as far as I can tell. We are all travelling along a path through this life and whether we like it or not we are going to encounter the same people throughout out lives, especially if we stay in the same geographical area as most people seem to do, unlike Geoff who wanders all over the world. The way we treat others is noticeable and the time will come when you will be grateful for someone reaching out to you in your time of desperate need. Jesus tells us we are to love our fellow man enough to not feel repulsed when they need us the most. But if no one does reach out to you he himself will reach down into the muck and dirt and lift you out. He will even wear your filthy clothes so that you may wear a clean coat, he loves you that much.
Lord may I reach out to others when they need help and be the kind of man who wouldn't mind carrying other peoples loads. May I also be able to see the struggle others are going through even when they don't seem to care about me.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to share this.
May you always know that Jesus is nearby to help you when you reach out to him. God bless you my friends, Geoff.


  1. Frankly, I think the man in your vision who helped the woman, is you. From what I have read about and learned about you, I can easily see you reaching out to help others, not minding to take their 'muck' upon yourself. Many others are not as kind, generous nor selfless.

    As we travel along our 'life road' we see many as you have described. We have the freedom to choose what we will do: help others or ignore them and go about our selfish ways. I thank our loving God that He did not ignore me as I wallowed in the ditch.

  2. Hi Joy. Well that was an unexpected reply. I Don't know who he was, in my understanding it was more likely that it was Jesus, we are all called to be like Jesus so helping others is part of what we are. Yes I have dealt with people who mock and belittle others less unfortunate than themselves but I have also dealt with many people who wouldn't hesitate to help others in need, I've been helped by selfless people often in my life.
    I too thank God for reaching down to me when I was wallowing in my own blood and filth, He lifted me out and showed such love and compassion that I've never forgotten, how could I?
    Your words have taken me by surprise and you have been very kind in your assessment of me, thank you.
    May you never again find yourself in a ditch and in need of help, May God guide your steps always.
    God bless you Joy, Geoff.