Encountering Jesus?

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He walked out of the woods.

I watched from a distance, though I still felt afraid.

He stood where the weeds meet the road.

I observed from inside my father’s paint store.

He faced east, my direction, looking for something.

I waited to see what he would do.

He changed course and headed south when he saw my brother pull into the paint store parking lot.

I got distracted with phone calls and customers.

Fifteen minutes or so passed. Then I remembered what I had been doing.

I went outside and spotted him across the street.

He combed the parking lot of a pawn shop.

I went behind my car and peered over the roof.

He picked up objects and put them in a flimsy plastic bag.

I continued to watch.

He picked up something, examined it, and threw it hard.

I grew suspicious.

He turned and faced my side of the street again, crossed over, and disappeared.

The paint store got busy again. I went back inside. About 30 minutes went by.

I peered out a window and saw him.

He sat a ways down on the sidewalk of the strip mall next door.

I grabbed a Mountain Dew and Snicker’s bar, and walked towards him down the long sidewalk.

He didn’t notice me coming.

I moved to the edge to make myself more visible.

He looked up with fear in his eyes, his face sunburned and his shirt white.

I said, “Here you go. I thought you might be hungry.”

He hesitated.

I held out the soda and candy bar, feeling a bit stupid.

He had only a bag, notebook and pen.

I said, “I just wanted to give you these. I saw you walk out of the woods.”

He said, “Yeah, someone took my clothes, but my friend found them for me.”

I said, “Oh.”

He took and ate

I turned and walked away, and said, “I’m sorry it’s not very nutritious.”

He said, “No, I mean thanks a lot. Just by what you did you’ve enriched my…um…my…”

I said, “Your life.”

He said, “Yeah, my life.”

We both laughed.

A couple hours later, I saw him crossing the street. He walked back into the woods.

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  1. Lace, this is so beautiful and so descriptive. I felt like I was watching this happen. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Lace, for bringing the word “encountering” to the forefront. I often wonder at our attempts to see the sacred in the eyes of those we meet, but “encountering” sounds alive, a step beyond just looking. Amen.

  3. Lace Williams-Tinajero

    Thanks Tracy and Marj. The encounter made me aware of the need to reach out. I wonder how often I miss such opportunities because of fear and rationalizing.

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