If I hurry there is a time enough to give Wayne a quick hug and kiss as I run down the hall of the gym and make a pit stop in the lady’s room. I fight back the urge to turn, get back in my car and ride home. Tonight would be the perfect night to stretch out on the couch and do…nothing. A little self talk is in order and remind myself that I am already a little late. I remind myself that they are already line up in folding chairs, coughing, head in hand. Some wander around too nervous to sit still, to hopeless to smile.
As I finish up and convince myself to get on with my duty, I round the corner and my friend calls out to me that she will join me there, if only a few minutes late. I tell her I will handle it, after all she has already been doing her fair share since early that afternoon. She dismisses me with the wave of a hand and says, “No I want to, I NEED to be there tonight.”
Don’t think me a saint by any means. Tonight I want to lay on the couch and watch TV. I have no holy thoughts as I begin my chore of listening to endless complaints. I say things that I say hundreds of times, and no one seems to listen. I let my mind wander while the voice of a woman drones on and on about her troubles. I tune back in time to hear her say, “…and most of the time I feel so alone.” I flush with shame. Does she see me and know that even now, in this room with me, she was alone as I thought of menial things, ignoring her story?
My friend joins me, she is busy in her moments as I, but she stops and smiles and tells me, “She just accepted Christ.” And I stop. In this moment everything else stops. I look at her and I am suddenly made aware of my own lopsided reality. I turn and see the beaming face of a new believer. The Spirit gently reminds me that my reality is so much more than what is visible. My reality is the invisible. What I can see is a broken body, what He sees is a broken heart. While I tend to a physical ailment, He tends to a sin-sick heart.
And sometimes, those two realities collide, and I am in awe. Yes Sally, we both NEEDED to be there tonight.