I took my dog out for a walk. Midnight, hot out, I’m just hoping someone tries to rob me so I can punch him. It feels like I weigh a thousand pounds.
Asking God, Do you see me down here in my tiny corner of the universe? Do you see the struggle? I’m ready to pack and leave this place. I hate everything here. I thought these people were my friends.
Asking God for encouragement, a sign, something, anything.
I turn a corner and smell the zoo. Another corner and I see a church I’ve never seen before. I walk around the side and lay down on the sidewalk with my dog. He plops down next to me.
I look up at the stars. Then realize I’ve lain down right next to a giant cross. It seems to stretch into the clouds, the top touching heaven into eternity.
Because I grew up in America. It’s the only reason I’m lying down next to one of these.
But I could keep feeling sorry for myself, or I could recognize this was not an accident. I’ve never even seen this place and I’ve walked it plenty.
I pray. I picture Jesus there. This is how he died, amidst stars, among people who hated him. His blood landed next to where I was lying down, shed for me. For you, too.
Jesus — you lived a whole life here with us. And you suffered. You suffered too much for me to just quit.
I stand up. My dog and I walk home. This new feeling: was it encouragement? Was this a sign? Just a feeling? I don’t know. But I don’t feel heavy anymore. And I know: I can’t quit. I can’t give up. God didn’t.