Friday, September 23, 2011

Going home to a place you’ve never been before

Imagine a man. Let’s call him Bob. And Bob is on some curvy road, traversing a wilderness in a far away country, not exactly sure why he’s there or whether it was such a good idea to go there in the first place. He doesn’t recognize the terrain, or any of the trees, or the sounds that roll in from the valley, uttered by animals he’s never heard about, or the mountains that surround him, pointing at a sky that grows dark in the dusk and shows stars in constellations he has never before seen.

Then, on the road ahead, Bob sees the outline of… what? He halts and stares. Perhaps it’s a rock and he can just ignore it. But perhaps it’s an animal, and he’ll either has to run for his life or else try to catch it, kill it and eat it. He peers through the darkness, bracing for what will happen next. Then he realizes that the shape ahead is that of a human being. Bob feels relief. At least he can count on reason. It won’t take long to explain that he doesn’t speak the local language, and with some gesturing and good will he might be able to distract some information from this fellow traveler. Where to go next? Where there might be a place to sleep or eat.

    “Good evening!” Bob calls out. With a little luck the other guy knows a bit of English, and at least Bob will make known right off the bat that he’s a foreigner.
    “Why, good evening!” is the astonished reply.
The two men approach, shake hands, look at each other in waning unbelief.
    “Bob,” says Bob.
    “Bill,” says Bill.

Quickly it becomes evident that both men don’t really know what they’re doing in that far away country, and that they’re both from the same country, from the same State no less, even the same town! Within minutes, Bob and Bill are able to not only share their most urgent concerns but also their most distant memories. They  grew up on the same street, went to the same school, knew the same neighbors and the same teachers.

On that dark and curvy mountain path the conversation between these two strangers progresses and both men learn that each most intimate beliefs are shared by the other. Their hopes are the same, their dreams are the same,  their objectives are the same and, surely, their destinies are the same. They are kindred by heritage and nature, by convictions and resolutions.

There’s always something to share with anyone, but Bob and Bill quickly conclude that the other was never a stranger, and wonder how many more fellow travelers are out there who aren’t strangers at all.

True story? It sure is.

Last night I walked along the Boulevard of Aleksander the Great towards the inner city of Belgrade, Serbia, veered left towards the impressive temple of Saint Sava that looms like a bubble over the town, and followed the street behind it, found an apartment building and went in. Most folks in there I had never met, but as we began to speak about God and the Bible, we found ourselves surrounded by people we had known all our lives.

There’s always something to share with anyone, but how many strangers in this beautiful and bustling urban wilderness aren’t strangers at all? I look forward to meeting them all, but for now, all I can do is walk this curvy road.


  1. What a great story; I love how the blood of Jesus transcends culture, race , diverse backgrounds, age, and languages. It really is a beautiful thing.

  2. Shalom. Thank you much. well spoken and good Message. May The LORD Bless you.

  3. Who will be in that eternal choir singing praise to our King? Saints from every nation, people and land - since time began! Amazing thought, that! All having the same passion, Love for our Lord and Saviour!

    Thank you for such a great story. lg

  4. What a beautiful, thought-provoking post. That sounds so trite, but I truly mean it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Arie, I love this because it expresses one of my favorite gifts from God, the gift of family more numerous than the stars in the sky. How like Him to grant us that, bonding us together in the deepest way possible, by the Spirit and the blood of the Lamb and the power of an indestructible Life. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of that blessing!


Be nice.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...