Last week I was in North Georgia plowing through a forest service road looking for a spot to pitch a tent and count some stars. To the uninformed and uninitiated, a forest service road is off the beaten path of the comparatively tame asphalt byways. This particular road carves through a national forest used by campers, hikers and I assume national forest workers (although I have never seen the latter). The road was, well, challenging – packed dirt, loose rocks, with divots, holes, and the occasional carcass of something that did not make it across the road. A few miles into the ride, just around the bend my tire pressure light lit up on the dash panel indicating I was losing pressure fast. This was not a good place to have a flat tire – miles away from anyone and well out of cell phone coverage. Of course is there ever a good place to have a flat?
Well into jacking up the jeep, and fumbling with the spare, a mountain biker chugged by and offered to help. “I am fine,” I said, wondering just what help a dude on his bicycle could actually provide. Soon a truck ambled by and its driver also offered to lend a hand. “No thank you,” I answered, now confessing gratitude that on this lonely road there were folks willing and able to help if needed. I was grateful too to have both a spare and a prayer.
A spare and a prayer; these are the tools to help get the job done and inspiration to see it through.
What about those who do not have either: a spare or a prayer? Know anyone like that? Life has come unhinged, things have fallen apart, and they are stuck on the side of the road. Not only do we know people like that, at different points in time we all come up short without either a spare or a prayer.
Thanks be to God for those who peddle alongside us offering the hand, the word, the prayer to get us out of the ditch and back rolling again. Thanks be to God for the caregiver, the nurse, the teacher, the doctor, the sales clerk, the senior, the child, the friend who takes time to slow down and reach out and love.
Do you have a spare and a prayer? Then give thanks and look for the one who has not. You just might save a life and help heal a soul.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:7, 9)
Loved and blessed,