Friday, January 15, 2010
"Never in One Spot ...Forever in My Heart"
This is a combination of my art work and a true story.
A little over a year ago I was about 30 minutes south of where I live at a friend's house. At the time me and the friend were doing discipleship training out of the NIV's One Year Bible.
Well later that night after it was all over with. I was heading home and got to the old familiar fork in the road that I would hit every week leaving his house. Now, I'm not one of those people that just go the same way every time out of habit. If I go the same way, it's because it's more practical than going the other. That being said... I have no idea why I chose the "other way" that night, but I did, and I'm so glad.
I was pulling on the interstate to head back home and on the On Ramp my headlights shine on this man walking with his thumb out. So I started to think about picking him up-cuz after all why in the world was I wasting my time driving 30 minutes a week to study all that I was and never put "Jesus" to practice. I quickly sized the man up and realized... IF...worst came to worst, I would be OK and able to manage my self against this stranger.
So I say, " AH...I'll go for it"... so I pull over and pick him up. I drive a little truck so I told him to throw his bags in the back and sit in the cab with me. After all I had no idea what he had in those bags so, I didn't want to take any chances, ya know? So, he does just that, and I'm trying to just focus on this guy's need more than anything else. We start talking and I tell him that I'm only able to take him a few exits north.. because I gotta get home and up for work the next day, and he was ok with that.
We get in to town and after engaging in 30 minutes of conversation with the man, I thought it was only appropriate to see if he was hungry, so I offer him some food (in hopes to maybe fulfill another need of his, considering how late it was and his location when I picked him up-not a restaurant in site). We got to Hardees and I go a head pay for his food in case he didn't have money. So we eat and delight in more conversation. I then get a call from my friends telling me that they are hanging up town for a bit, so I decided to go see them...and yes... with the "Dude".
After a bit of "hanging out" lol...me and the "Hitch-hiker" are then just driving around and I ask him where he is headed off to tonight after I drop him off, and he replies with out hesitation..."ahh, I'm just gonna crash under the over pass and head out tomorrow...it's getting too late to walk anymore." ...Now, I had been hanging out with this guy all night and I never saw any strings attached from his words to my heart, until that last sentence.
Now if i were to have a book of "codes" along the lines of "codes of conduct" these two would be on the first page: 1. never walk in the rain, nor LET any one else walk in the rain. and 2. NEVER let any other human sleep on concrete under an overpass!. hahaha... I dont even know if sleep can even be achieved in such conditions. However, after he told me that, I offered him a bed/fold up mattress that I had. lol. During our dinner conversation, I had noticed that he was talking about how a photographer once asked to take his picture while he was flying his sign. The man said yes and allowed the college student to do so. Well, I then asked him if he would care if I did as well, after all he was going to make for a great subject. He allowed me to and was thrilled because he was planning on giving his brother the copy.
As the night ended, we popped in the 1987 Batman, ya know the on with Jack Nicholson as the "Joker", haha well based on what the guy told me... it had been a month since he last watched ANYTHING...so I figured, "alright! =) we are watching this!" The night ends and the morning comes and we go our separate ways. His name was Henry Wiley and he was headed to Aurora Illinois. He is also the man in the picture at the top of my post. He was a great guest and a very adventurous soul. He LOVED traveling the way he did and had a ton of priceless stories. He also was a walking GPS ha ha ha. I guess I should of seen that last one coming right? =)
But, I created this picture a while after that night...the story tells you all the meaning of it, so I don't have a lot too this left to explain... it's more just set up like an old memory with a timeless feeling to it... I have no idea where he is today. Sadly, I lost the information he gave me that had his brother's address on it ... so I could mail him that picture... I don't think I have felt so horrible in my life about something. However, I know my actions that night met some needs in that man's life, may it be the ride, the food, the conversation, or just the shelter...or hey- could have been that Batman Movie haha... but in all seriousness, I did my best fighting against "paranoia"..."fear"...and the "what people would say", just to give this guy ONE piece of comfort in his life. Even if it were only for a few hours total.
One of my favorite scriptures..."what ever you have done for the least of these...you have done unto me"-Jesus