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Country Lane

The breeze came brisquely down the lane, rustling the leaves and making its presence known with that sound and the chill that it brought to the morning jog. One foot in front of the other, constantly pushing forward, left foot, right foot, pumping the legs, burning the backs of his thighs. He loved autumn, loved the smells of early pre-sunrise mornings, loved running on this country lane.

He ran, and he prayed. This was time to himself, and time to be with the Father. His prayers were breathy, always out loud and never "in my mind", he thought as he inhaled, exhaled, one foot, other foot. The chill woke up his eyes, the pores on his face; and his prayers woke up his mind, engaged the conversation on a very personal, very intentional level. Lord, thank You for my wife - thank You for her love - her commitment. Keep running, keep pushing. Thank You for her heart, Lord, for her yearning to make You proud, to bring You joy. Thank You for that about her. Make a right at the corner, head down the dirt road for another mile. And thank You, Lord, for our kids. They're so great, so aware, so alive - inhale, exhale - and so into wanting to be their own person, Lord. Help me be a good dad, Father - help me be like You, give them room to breathe and find themselves - heavy steps, feeling the last mile more than usual, pushing through the wall.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me this beautiful morning - feeling the sharp pain in his left leg, wondering if he needs new shoes, one foot, other foot, half-mile to the next turn back to the house. It's so peaceful, so warm in Your love, so wonderful to hear the wind, Your voice. Snap - the crack in his knee echoed into his conversation. The pain on his left side blinded him, forced him to veer into the brush, over a ditch, falling headlong, still praying - Oh, Lord - save me! Protect me! You are mighty O Lord! Aaaaaahhhh!...

To the very end, no silent prayers. But now, yes, silence. His head hit an oak trunk, making a dull thud, a deep gash forming. The snap of his knee had brought pain; now the tree brought peace. Silence on the country lane, yet awake on another road, another path now. Still praying, out loud and constant, to the Father who protected him, and now holds him closer still. They run together. The conversation is still a part of the morning. One foot, then the other, pushing another mile down the road.


Blogger Michelle said...

I sincerely hope the running man isn't you...!

25/10/05 5:50 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

no no no :) - post-mortem typing isn't my style.

25/10/05 6:47 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Oh thank goodness! :) Good writing though, post-mortem or not.

25/10/05 9:25 AM  

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