Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Maybe I'm the Crazy One...

He showed up in our parking lot early yesterday morning.  One of my church folk had gotten to know him the last time he was in the area and called me to ask if it was ok for him to stop by the church so she could feed him breakfast.  (I love this place!)  I told her it would be fine. 

He came in and sat down while I started a pot of coffee.  After the cups were poured, I sat down with him and we started talking. 

"Where are you headed?"
"That way." Then he pointed to the east. 
"Anyplace in particular?" I asked.
"Nope.  Just that way.  I've never been that way before."

He was very articulate in his speech, but wore the highway on his face and clothes.  Everything he owned was tied to his bicycle in plastic bags. 

"Do you believe seers still walk among us?" he said.
"What?  Seers?  You mean, prophets?"
"No.  Not prophets.  There's no need of prophets since the New Testament.  Seers.  People who can
     see the other side.
"Well, I've never really thought about it. (To myself: 'This')

The conversation continued while we drank coffee and he ate breakfast.  He had traveled nearly all the way across the country, riding or pushing this bicycle overladen with stuff.  Most people, at seeing him for the first time would probably think, "This guy is crazy."  I confess, that thought might have crossed my mind a time or two over a few cups of coffee.  No doubt, a life on the road will leave one with a fair amount of stories that most would consider way out there, yet as I listened, I couldn't help but think, 'Who knows, they may be true." 

The longer I talked to him, the more I thought, "You know, maybe I'm the crazy one and this guy actually knows how to live." 

Of the ones of us sitting at the table yesterday (there were 4 altogether) my guess is that he is the only one not on blood pressure meds, or some type of anxiety pill.  I'm going to say that he can probably adapt on the fly better than any of us there, and make do without most of what we call necessities.  I'll bet he also didn't work 60 hours last week and still not get done everything he needed to get done. And above that, I would wager that he really didn't care about what he didn't get done. Who's crazy now?

Now, of course, I couldn't do what he was doing.  I couldn't drop all of my responsibilities, grab a bike and a few Wal-mart sacks, and hit the road, but I wonder...  I wonder what it would look like if I worried less and played more.  I wonder what it would look like if I did more of what I wanted and less of what I felt I had to.  I wonder what it would look like if I was able to adapt on the fly, and change direction at a moment's notice.  I wonder what it would look like to finally see that the way most of us try to live our lives leaves others thinking, "Wow, they're just crazy."

Alas, I have forgotten how.  I think that's why that one hour conversation yesterday hit me as hard as it did.  I have forgotten how to play more, and worry less.  I have forgotten how to do what I want to do without thinking about all of the things I have to do.  What scares me the most is that I've become okay with it. 

So, my plastic bag toting, bicycle pushing, eastward bound new friend, God speed.  Thank you for stopping by our place yesterday.  I'm not sure what I'll do with the lessons you taught me, but I won't forget them very soon. 

The last time I saw him, he had stopped to talk to some horses on the side of the road...and I'm not sure they weren't talking back. 

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