Lately, I have been running. Really we can all say we are running. It’s the journey through life. I simply liken my journey through life to a run. That’s why they say the journey through life is a marathon not a sprint. Lately I have been treating my journey as a sprint.
I’ve spent the last few months, maybe even years sprinting pass the broken and the lost. Even those who are present in my everyday life. Maybe I have grown to a place where I believe my run, my journey is more important and hard enough. It’s hard enough to care about my own journey than anyone else’s journey. I’d rather run a short sprint through their brokenness then a slow, marathon of pain and misery.
Why hurt more for others, when I am hurting enough myself? Why care when there’s so much I already have to care about?
I finally have come to a place where I don’t want to be complacent. I don’t just want to run by, run through the broken marriages, families, the lost children, women and men, the beaten down, depressed, deceived and hurting. The poor and homeless. Running by and looking elsewhere; pretending not to see the valley of dry bones around me. Those who have lost hope and life. Who feel there’s nothing left. I block it all out and turn my eyes, focused on my own journey.
It’s not just my two feet pounding, arms pumping and heart beating – there’s thousands of hearts beating, barely beating. But I chose to only hear my own. To feel less pain, know less pain, see less pain. I miss the dry bones around me, the lost, broken and hopeless.
And in one giant swoop my mindset changes. I drop the blindfold and I learn to move in compassion. I run through the valley of dry bones and this time I take it all in. A tidal wave of hurt, addiction, hopelessness, rejection, hatred wash over me. I feel it all. I see it all.
But I want to run deeper into the brokenness and bring hope, love, comfort and truth. I want to see deeper, not at face value, but see through the outer appearance. Take it all in, not be blindfolded and run from it, instead standing in the midst of the pain. Slowing down to a marathon.
One day I soak it in. I look around me and see this breaking world. I see the hurting and abused wife, the broken husband, the fatherless children, the childless couple, the failed marriage, the addicted, and suicidal teenager.
I look around on my run, my journey through life and I decide today is the day I soak it in. My heart beats for them, my voice speaks for them, my run [journey] involves them. The valley of dry bones. I realize with one word, I could change their lives. One word of hope and love, and life is given to the dry bones. The spoken truth.
I remember when I was dry bones. My life seeming hopeless and dark, and all it took was a few words to change my circumstances, to breathe life into my dry bones. Someone who cared enough to stop on their own run, to slow down to my struggling pace and offer just a word and a loving hand. To remind me that there’s still life left in those dry bones. Not all hope is lost. God has something bigger, something better.
A few words to bring life, healing and restoration. There’s more than just us and our family in this marathon of life. There’s more than just my challenge and rough situation, pain or fear. There’s a whole valley of beaten down, broken dry bones, and they’re waiting for just a flash of light, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, an ear to listen. The question is will we run through the valley of dry bones, sprinting passed them all? Or will we slow to a marathon and walk through someone’s journey with them, breathing life, love, and hope into their dry bones?
I see a valley of dry bones, but I also see God’s promises of restoration, healing and love for ALL the dry bones. Not just a few, but ALL. He’s just waiting for us, His people, to remove their blindfolds and to see and feel what HE does.