Or, What I Can’t Get Off My Mind
Sometimes you see something you can’t shake.
I can’t shake what I saw last week.
It was Monday morning, 9 a.m. I drive down my street to go grocery shopping. A half a mile from my house is an empty lot. A slightly overgrown field.
In this empty lot on that morning is a fire. A small pile of something in flames.
We’ve been in a drought. I wonder, Where is the person who should be guarding this fire?
A small car is parked on the curb by the empty lot. But no person is near it either.
I drive on. I buy bananas, pancake syrup, cheddar cheese, Lean Pockets.
I drive back home. It’s now 9:45 a.m.
I pass the fire again in my neighborhood.
- It still burns.
- Still small.
- Still no one is watching it.
Here’s what I didn’t know.
But now that I do know this—what I was actually seeing—I’ll never forget it.
A neighbor directly across the field is also watching the fire. Around 10 a.m., she sends her husband over to check it out.
Call 911! That’s the message he returns with.
What is burning?
I hate to tell you.
It’s a person.
A very depressed man got up last Monday morning and decides this is it. His last day.
He drives across the street from his neighborhood to ours, 100 yards away. To this empty lot he sees every day. Around 7:45 a.m, we guess.
- He parks his car on the curb.
- He douses himself with gasoline.
- He strikes his lighter.
There’s much more to this story. I’m sure of it.
But I don’t know it.
What I know is sadness. I pray. For his friends. His family. His dog that I used to see him walk.
I’ll never forget him. Because I saw him.
Even when I didn’t know it was him.
What we see, we remember.
What will we see today?
Among everything else, Lord, let it be you. Let us see you. Please, you.
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What have you seen that you can’t shake? How have you seen God? Please share in the comments.
- Be This Nurse to Whom?
- Hit the Pause Button