Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This afternoon, for the first time ever, I decided to run to music.
With Riley at my side, I pushed start on my pedometer and play on my ipod. We began to run. At the first sign of a slow song, I decided to make my way over to Kevin’s Kitchen Dance Playlist. My mission was this: every time the chorus plays, I had to double up, I had to run twice as fast.
Ha. Oh wow. When was the last time you’ve listened to Phil Collins “You’ll Be in My Heart”? I suggest you google it. Now. That chorus is WAY too long. Someone ought to talk with his producer about that song… can’t he consult with Justin Bieber and come up with a quicker catch phrase?
Next up was Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” Yeah, I get it. I was thinking it too... “What kind of Kitchen Dance Playlist is this??” Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be the one to ask… I’d dance to that song if it weren’t for the fact that I was running, and at this point pissed at my attempt to be creative with my workout. Too stubborn to give up on my idea by the third song, I found myself really wishing that Kelly had never run into relationship issues… if it weren’t them, she wouldn’t have anything to sing about. My lungs would have appreciated the break as well.
By the time Pat Benatar came on with “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” my momentary Tourettes kicked in. I would have loved to her him with my best shot. I’m pretty sure I would have aimed for the pharynx; in hopes of being lucky enough to affect the vocal cords.
When Journey came on with “Don’t Stop Believing” I’m pretty sure I began reciting this to my dog, begging him to keep pace with me. Upon making it to our house, I collapsed in the grass. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt like they could vomit. Riley decided to nom on the tall pile of grass right beside me and then let out a satisfying burp. Ha, what a run! We shaved 6 minutes off of our 4 mile routine. My lungs felt every absent minute.
I’m going somewhere with this story. I promise.
After lying in the grass and watching the clouds, for who knows how long, Riley began to squirm at my side. Assuming he was just fidgeting because he was hungry, I disregarded him. It wasn’t until my intuition kicked in that I sat up. I found my neighbor, one who I have unfortunately been afraid of, standing in the street looking at me. Scared, I quickly jumped up, grabbed my stuff, and headed for the house. When I got to my front door, I thought about what happened to me earlier today…...
After class this morning, I jumped on the Light Rail (yay public transportation!) and headed for my dad’s office in Tempe. After deciding that I wasn’t quite ready to study, I decided to park myself on the grass outside of his office, overlooking A mountain, and journal for a while. The sunshine felt great and I couldn’t contain my smile. After being there a while, I noticed, in my periphery, that a man in a motorized wheelchair was heading my direction. My visual assessment concluded the following findings: his head was in a fixed position and he really only had mobility in the arm he was using to steer. When he came to the portion of the sidewalk that was just before me, he stopped. Surprised, I looked at him and smiled. He asked me if I was okay, if I was doing alright. Warmed to my soul I smiled and reassured him that I was, and then just as quickly as he’d stopped, he was going again.
I felt special. I was blown away by the fact that someone with obvious difficulties would care enough about a stranger to inquire about their current state. I was humbled, reminded that I wanted to be like that in life, in the lives of those around me. That threw the lid off of my grin and I’m pretty sure the receptionist at my dad’s front desk could see my filling, I was smiling so big. So touched. So special.
The point of my two stories?
Today, I was reminded of Jesus.
In Luke 10, you can find the story of the Good Samaritan, I will summarize here. In Jesus’ day, those two words were an oxymoron to the Jews. The story goes like this: a man was walking towards a city and was accosted by robbers. Beaten to a pulp, like Rodney King, he was left on the street to die. A pastor walked by him and kept walking, not only that, he crossed the street so as not be near him. Likewise, a man from prestigious heritage, honorable roots, walked by him and crossed to the other side of the street. But then *Spoiler Alert* a Samaritan (not particularly favored by the Jews) walked by him, and Jesus said that as he “came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.” The story ends with the Samaritan man nursing the victim back to health.
This was demonstrated to me today. Although I hadn’t been accosted, the man in the wheelchair saw me, came to where I was, and showed compassion on my soul. So dear! My problem with high tailing it to the house today, my torment with running from my neighbor, who was still standing in the street, was this: I felt like I was as bad as the pastor, as bad as the levite. As I opened my door this evening -- knowing that my neighbor was behind me, with more conflict in his mind than what the victim encountered physically, in the story – tugged on my heart strings. Oh how I longed for the same boldness the handicapped man displayed today. I desired the same courage that the Samaritan embodied in the story. I wished that I had what it took to show compassion on this man, and to demonstrate to him that he too is someone special.
Sitting on the porch swing typing this and sharing the last of the Pirate's Booty. 3 for me. 1 for Riley. And my family wonders why I'm his favorite? What a cutie. :)