Trail of Tears
Psalm 55 - Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
As I read this psalm this morning, I thought how thankful I was that I am not feeling the sense of desperation which the psalmist describes.
"My heart quakes within me, * and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come over me, * and horror overwhelms me."
Certainly I have been there before and will probably be there again, but in this season of life, I am not there.
And then I remembered the man I saw yesterday on my drive home. In my town where the interstate exits to the main road, there is what I call "the trail of tears." It is a well worn path used by the least of these among us who are at the end of their ropes and desperate for whatever hand out passersby might give them. I have a friend who keeps McDonalds gift certificates in her car for them. Others I know keep packs of crackers and water for them. And often I see people handing over leftovers as a gesture of kindness.
Yesterday I saw one of the regulars sitting on the side of the highway, hands in his head, bicycle cast in the grass, leftover pizza box next to him. And our local police officer with lights flashing on his car walked towards him. It was a pitiful sight, filled with all the fear and trembling of the psalmist..."horror overwhelms me..."
I don't know his circumstances; I don't know what horrors he is running from or what demons have invaded his soul. But I do know that he is a beloved child of God and I pray that he will be able to "cast his burden upon the Lord," and find sustenance that will keep him from stumbling again.
Please pray with me for folks who walk the trail of tears in all our cities and towns, that someone with the face of Jesus and a heart of Love will come to them in their darkness and remind them of their belovedness.