This Pilgrimage of Ours

I stopped at the large window in the master bedroom of our parsonage. The view wasn’t anything majestic; no mountains, ocean or rolling hills to see. My view was a red brick church building and an asphalt parking lot. I stared at the empty lot, watching the breeze rustle the leaves of the bushes in the flower bed. Only a few hours before, a large RV had been parked there, with cords trailing toward the building and over those bushes where it was hooked up. An evangelist and his family were passing through. We had enjoyed eating with them and talking and laughing. Now, they were gone. They had moved on. I sighed deeply, letting the loneliness wash over me. No, I wasn’t alone, but I felt alone. It seemed to me that true friends, who live in my same town, were just a dream of mine. For years I believed that I’d never really know what it would be like to have a “kindred spirit” live down the street, around the corner, or just across town. For the first time ever, I know what it’s like to have kindred spirits around me. There are no words to sufficiently describe what a joy it is! It is truly a small taste of Heaven.

I also have many kindred spirits that I do not get to see too often. I have one in Greenland and another in Brazil! I have several in Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and some right here in Oklahoma. Who are these blessed friends that seem tied to my own soul through invisible cords? They are fellow pilgrims. We are born again Baptist believers, striving to keep our vessels unspotted from sin – sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed –  but whatever happens, we glory in Christ and Christ alone. He is our Captain, He is our Comfort, He is our Completer. We encourage one another through prayer and a kind word. We weep when one weeps, we rejoice when one rejoices, even when our own hearts may be carrying a heavy burden. We don’t always share the heartaches we carry, but the Holy Spirit gives us a nudge and we know when one of our number needs a good word and we try to give it.

We are pilgrims in this world, just passing through. We don’t fit in at all in this world, but we fit together in Christ. Someday, we will all be together in Heaven. No more goodbyes, no more separations, no more empty church parking lots.

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