I’m all about stories, and everyone has one.
My daughter snatched me away from Los Angeles and treated me to a luxurious vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. While reclining on the beach, I noticed a young man sitting alone in front of me, close to the surf. He was staring across the water with no apparent focus. The longer I watched, I noticed every motion he made was v-e-e-r-r-r-y s-l-o-o-w-w-w.
Then, I noticed the large bottle of beer beside him and realized what was probably in his backpack.
As one who regularly prays for the brokenhearted, I hear many stories from those who cope with pain from their past. Whether with food, drugs, shopping or alcohol, many seek to smother their suffering with stuff.
So, what was his story? He was drunk on a resort beach, surrounded by people, but looking lonely. If I spoke his language, I might have had a chance to hear the tale he would tell. I couldn’t pray with him, but I prayed for him.
None of us can escape heartache, and most of us cannot avoid the negative impact of it in our lives. Several years ago, the Lord focused me on the words of a song that included, “Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like You have loved me.” That became my prayer. Since then, I’ve been hyper-aware that wrong behavior from others usually began with some painful experience in their past.
I’ll never know the story of the young man on the beach of Playa del Carmen, but I am learning the stories of many others; their stories have a happy ending with healing from the King of Kings. I’ll share them with you from time to time. Perhaps we’ll all understand each other better and learn to love like God has loved us.
(Lyrics from “Hosanna” by Hillsong United)