Good Friday

I’m sitting in my car sobbing like there’s no tomorrow.
Today I worked really hard at work and was tempted to just go home and rest up for my 50 mile ride tomorrow. But my inner voice said, nah, you don’t get to take a break during the cross country ride. Just do 10-15 miles.
Then traffic had me take a different route to the trail I ride on in the evening, and I was farther north than I usually start. I have a brand new bike, (thank you, Randy Peterson!) and I got on the trail and headed north, thinking I’d turn around in 5 miles.
But I lost GPS and it didn’t tell me how far I had gone until I got to 8, and I was feeling great, so decided 20 is a better number. But then the trail ended and I found myself on a super busy road in downtown SLC. I considered for a moment continuing for the remaining mile to get to 10 before I turned around, but thought better of it and turned around.
1000 yards or so from where I turned around I was coming to a stop to cross the street and saw an obviously homeless man pulling a heavily loaded shopping cart with the saddest excuse for a bicycle I’ve seen in years. He was going pretty slow, but seemingly without reason his shopping cart overturned, taking him and his bike down in the middle of the road and spilling tent stakes, miscellaneous tools, and food from a cooler that popped open, all over the road.
A previously dark gray sky had just a few hints of blue popping through as he got up and yelled at the top of his lungs, “GOD, WHY ME?”
As I got within about 5 feet of the street, I hopped off my bike and asked if I could help him. He whirled around like I’d shot him. “WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? you weren’t THERE a second ago.”
I agreed and said, I was just out of sight when the cart turned over as we picked up the loose items and set them on the sidewalk. Then we lifted the cart together and got cart and bike to safety. He thanked me profusely and started to cry. “I’d almost just lost my faith. I’ve lost everything else. But then God sent an angel to tell me not to.”
I told him I wasn’t an angel, just a fellow traveler who was in the right place at the right time, and asked him if I could give him a hug. He agreed to that, and we hugged for a moment. I told him God would never stop believing in HIM, and that he was loved beyond imagination, even when he can’t see it. I was wishing I had some money to give him. He thanked me again and I got on my bike. As I waited for the light to cross the street, I looked back and he was kneeling on the pile of everything he owned, and he said almost as loud as he had previously, “God? I’m sorry I asked why. Thank you for sending an angel.”
As I rounded the corner to the park where i left my car I remembered that I’d put a $5 bill in my cycling pouch and was terribly upset that I hadn’t remembered 9 miles ago.
I just opened the pouch, and there are two twenties, a ten, and a five where this morning I had put a five.
God must have wanted him to hear what I had to SAY more than what I had to GIVE.
GOOD Friday, indeed.

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