I write these words 33,000 and some odd feet over the world. From just looking down over snow covered mountains that are the same chain I saw from a similar window a year ago. And a lot has happened in that year. At the time I was officially on book tour flying my way into Portland for a book event for the new release of the kick off of Praying for Strangers. Today I’m connecting in the early morning in Utah to fly back to Montana for a very special event sparked by the Praying for Strangers message. It’s a special event for the Great Falls Rescue Mission and I am honored and delighted to be their keynote speaker for tomorrows luncheon and again later in the evening for their dinner. Last year there may have been thirty-five beautiful people in that bookstore (and others who discovered the book subsequently after my visit through discovery of signed editions). Tomorrow I will speak to one thousand people. This is the value of story. And the story of Praying for Strangers continues and flourishes because its meaning at bedrock is paramount to the condition of our humanity. But then I digress
I say all that to say this. One year. Things change. Life goes on. Our stories change. They grow. But one thing is for certain – our need for love, our need for each other does not change. And that’s the painful truth, the raw beauty of being human. We hurt, we love, we endure, we continue – and on any given moment of any given day – we rejoice. Praying for Strangers has allowed me those moments of rejoicing in being human. Moments where all my troubles fell behind, washed over me and receded in the tides of life as I embraced one human being story, connected with them in a meaningful way. Something real, not manufactured of painted.
So here, the story of this adventure continues because it is not mine alone. It is ours. This is our story. This is us.
(For those who are still interested in backtracking for the Lenten Journey words, or to catch up with that reading to its conclusion – you might find it here
Please join us if you are in the Nashville Area – on Tuesday, April 24 at 5:30 at Bookman/Bookwoman to celebrate the Paperback kick-off and stories well told from a year on the Road)