Encounters on the Road

May 21, 2014

I’ve been mindful today of the number of times we are told of things that happened to Jesus while he was on one road or another. I don’t really know what to make of that, but I have come to experience the unique way in which people deal with a person on the road. I wish I more fully understood what stood out about Jesus as he was traveling along. I know a guy with an orange shirt and yellow bags on his bicycle is an obvious traveller, but there was something outstanding about Jesus even though he was wearing the same clothes and walking like everyone else.

But interesting things have happened to me as I’ve been traveling along. When you are wearing the label of a person who is traveling on a bicycle you get noticed and approached by some people. I had a really sad encounter with a young woman who needed money for food while I had stopped for a moment in a poor outskirt of Atlanta. I was able to help her with one meal, but I was reminded of how deeply needy so many people are.

But most of the encounters I have are so very positive. People like to ask me where I’m from and where I’m going. People in cars and trucks aren’t always so happy to see me, but I get nice looks and comments from people on sidewalks. As my new friend, Jim, from Conyers, GA pointed out to me, a guy on a bicycle is a benign presence. You aren’t going to be able to get away very quickly if you do something bad, so people are inclined to trust you when you are traveling on a bicycle. My meeting with Jim felt like a harmonic convergence. I was looking for some advice but he was the one who initiated our conversation. Jim is a bicycle builder, and he has done a good amount of touring. He loves the way it puts you in touch with the land and the people. It was a joy to visit with him and I trust we will be in further contact.

I am feeling so blessed by this journey. My heart is bursting with gratitude for all of the serendipitous encounters I’ve had on the road, and for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’m getting from those of you who know me already and are rooting me on. I share the prayer of Anne Lamott: Thank you, thank you, thank you!



8 Responses to “Encounters on the Road”

  1. Earl Jones Jr Says:

    Good thoughts !!

    Earl Jones,Jr.

  2. Bill Waddell Says:

    Patty and I enjoy sharing the ride with you. It seems like you are on an extended sabbath (as Abraham Heschel would describe it). We look forward to each day’s report and pray for continued safety and revelation.

    What’s next? Machu Pichu or the Camino Santiago?

    • twmurray Says:

      I’m so happy you have been following along — it’s been a great ride! As far as what is next I’m pretty excited about being at home!!

  3. Sharon Says:

    Hey, Thompson! We’re so happy for you as you push yourself beyond your comfort and familiar zone(s). And, since you’re into quoting Anne Lamott, just remember each mile, each new relationship, positive or not, needs to be taken “Bird by bird, Buddy!” Can’t wait to hear the” rest of the story. . .” (was THAT Paul Harvey??!!)

  4. Pratt Says:

    Keep on keeping on Thompson, the sea is just over a few hills and flats of flatland. You are going to make it. tree by tree, pedal by pedal ,mile by mile, breath by breath. love, Pratt in Wisconsin

    • twmurray Says:

      I’ve had the opportunity to do some deep breathing. It’s been a very interesting mind/body/spirit experience! You take care as well. Every day is a journey of some kind.

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