Journey with John

It’s the small things in life that are of the greatest value.  Several years ago, a good friend said that as you age, you discover that the things you once held in high esteem because of their price tag or how they appeared to society are not nearly as valuable as the golden moments of life when you enter another human soul.  I am growing older, a nagging truth that greets me every time I look in the mirror.   It’s true the things that were once of great importance to me, because they signaled “success,” have depreciated greatly in recent days.  The thought of owning a mansion with manicured lawns holds very little appeal for me now.  I’ve grown to appreciate the familiar weed and simple drapery.  Once, a shiny new car with sleek lines was more than just appealing.  Now, I’m quite content with my dusty, scratched Toyota that is thirteen years old.  I once thought the admiration of the masses would be divine; now, I take delight in the gentle love of my family and my community of faith.  As I grow older, I find I am satisfied with what I have and less concerned with what I don’t have.  My friend was quite right when he said that the golden moments of life are when you enter another’s soul.  It is one of the true joys of being one of Christ’s servants.  Those moments of real value come frequently….

It was a simple thing that carried priceless value.  A young man was in my office recently, telling me a sad tale of poor choices and poorer disciplines.  I’ve heard it all before, more times than I care to count.  As he was getting ready to leave, he asked if we could pray.  I asked God to touch his life.  His eyes filled with tears as he shared his amazement that God could care about him.  I assured him God did care and I did as well, as does the church.  He was drinking in the words.  Then, almost as an apology, he asked if I could hug him.  Inwardly, I groaned for the man hadn’t bathed in several days, his clothes were badly soiled, and it was evident alcohol is a part of his daily diet.  I held my breath and gave a perfunctory hug.  As I was pulling away, I whispered a simple blessing.  The guy didn’t let go!  I tried to pull away and then he whispered, “Please, just hold me a minute.  Nobody has hugged me in a very long time….”  It was only a few seconds.  He whispered the words, “Thank you,” and he disappeared down the hall.

It was such a small thing – a hug, but it was of such immeasurable value.  I needed it so much!  I’ll probably never see him again, but he reminded me once more of what has real value – caring for another human being.  Thank you, Lord, for sending him to me.  It was a lesson I needed to learn once again.  Oh friends, God loves you one and all!


Pastor John