Picture of Janet


Walking Home

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There was a woman who walked the streets of my neighborhood. I haven’t seen her in a while, but for almost two years, I saw her. She walked the streets, sometimes with her hair in curlers and sometimes fully coifed, her head tilted up a little, not quite like she was looking towards heaven, and never a smile on her face. Her gait was ambling, less than purposeful, and honestly and without malice, she didn’t look quite right. In the head, you know. She didn’t seem to be in pain, at least not the physical kind, nor did she look like a stroke sufferer, she was always alone. She wasn’t walking to get in shape, she was already thin,  but I can tell you that woman clocked hundreds of miles just walking, all times of the day, heat or cold, rain or shine. I never spoke with her, but in my heart I knew from the first time I saw her, what she was doing.

She was pain walking.

Sometimes there are things that happen to us that we can’t handle unless we do something. The problem is that finding out what you can do isn’t possible, because your mind and heart and soul are so sore and torn, you can’t think straight. Sometimes you don’t even want to think straight, so the only option, and as crazy as it might sound (mind you the human mind has come to this conclusion more than you might imagine), is to pain walk, or if you are able, pain run. 

You know of course, why I knew what the woman was doing. I’ve been there.

There is solace in just moving in those dire times of need. I suspect that there is solace in being on the outside, where the sun still shines, tree’s still green, and you can see the steady, true hand of the Creator at work. I suspect, that even if you don’t believe in God, the need for the kind of assurance and certainly that God’s nature provides is a balm to the human heart, so no matter our faith state, pain walking happens.

I have been thinking about that woman, wondering what happened to her. I know that sometimes, when our minds are broke, healing is delicate and difficult and unsure, not quite like the healing of a broken heart. I am a living testament to what God will do with a broken heart. Time, and faith, and grace will work miracles. I hope that the woman has healed. I hope that because I no longer see her bodes well for where pain walking got her. 

I woke up this morning, with anxiety strong in me and the small but certain need to get out where the sky and the clouds are bigger than me. Turning to gaze out the window at the early light of day, I waited for the fogginess of sleep to leave. I have come to love those moments, those precious moments when reality and dreams aren’t much different, and prayer comes as natural as breathing. In the knowledge that human souls are meant to care for each other I accepted that my heart strings were tender and aching for some who are doing a different kind of pain walking this Monday.

To Chloe and Bobbye and Dot, one child and two women who are walking their way to Heaven these last days of August, accompanied by families, walking with them, finishing the race of this life with Grace, supporting those they love with every ounce of love and faith in them, I will take a walk in the rain for you today and storm the gates of Heaven with prayer.

Quote of the day: That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. Forest Gump

Bible verse of the day: Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

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