Spiritual images – God in the sandwich shop and a helping hand in the gym

Spiritual images – God in the sandwich shop and a helping hand in the gym:

This posting is for LF, and it comes on the wings of prayer.
Sometimes simple images of faith can light up our day……..

I saw an image of God while I was eating an Albuquerque Turkey sandwich at Subway today. A pretty girl of about six years with long black hair was gazing out the entry door when she pointed excitedly and cried “Here comes grandpa”.

With eyes shining she turned and even smiled at me. Grandpa was striding purposefully towards the store. He looked like Jack Nicholson, with hair parted and slicked back the same way. As he drew near, the girl pushed open the door and stood in the entryway.

A huge smile crossed his face as Grandpa leaned over to hug the girl, and walked inside holding her hand. After they ordered, the family left and strolled back into the sunshine, with Grandpa holding hands with two children….the six year old and a younger brother……one on each side.

Thoughts raced through my mind. How to approach God: open the door to Him and reach up a hand. This first image is an easy one to internalize, unless pride or self-absorption get in the way.      Sophisticated….. No.      Simple…..Yes.      Childlike……Yes.      What do we receive in return……. personal joy, excitement, love, strength, security.

The Light of the World (1853) by William Holman Hunt. The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside.

Later on the same day I saw an image of a helping hand. I prepared for a workout at the gym…..knee bends, hamstring strengthening, and then the elliptical machine to get my heart rate up. To avoid total boredom on the elliptical, I glanced to the right and nodded to a girl dressed in a black sweat-suit, with a diamond in the side of her nose. Forward and to the left was a man in his twenties, short haircut, erect and well-built, pounding away on a treadmill…..thump…..thump…..thump.

Next to him I noticed a wheelchair, and my puzzled eyes searched for the owner.….a handicapped man in his twenties trying to walk on a treadmill. Despite legs that were only half as round as normal, if that, and feet which were severely twisted, the man was making a valiant effort just to keep the treadmill moving.

Tears came to my eyes, as I realized how immensely difficult this must be for him, and how easy it was for me. It gave new meaning to the word “perseverance”.

The man next to him stopped thumping and climbed down from his treadmill. He seemed to be talking and offering support, before handing over a towel, and apparently he was a carer or maybe even a brother. As the treadmill ground to a halt, the handicapped man edged toward the wheelchair, and I glimpsed the flash of a beautiful smile.

My thoughts raced again. In a world filled with trials we can push forward, against great odds, like the inspiring figure on the treadmill. And like the carer, we can look around to help someone to hope. Many in our city, in our country, and in the dark parts of our globe, need hope. But unlike the first image, this second image is not an easy one to internalize…..to lend a helping hand takes awareness first, then giving of time, effort, or money (all of which we usually think we don’t have much of).

As Christians I suppose we should be carrying both images around in our minds and in our hearts. If we carry only the first image, we may be just spiritual phantoms of no earthly use. If we carry only the second image, we may be just worldly machines plugging along without vision or hope. But if we carry both images, we can be light and salt in the world.

Can you relate to either of these two images? If so, please feel free to share your experience in the Comment box below the blog. Your comment, even though brief, may help or inspire another reader.

James Robison’s ministry drills wells in Africa for fresh uncontaminated water.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation, chapter 3).

“Then little children were brought to Jesus that He might put his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But He said leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or hinder them, for of such as these the kingdom of heaven is composed. And He put his hands upon them, and then went on his way” (Matthew, chapter 19, Amplified Bible). 

“The benevolent person scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever” (2 Corinthians chapter 9).

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Sheila Thompson
Sheila Thompson
11 years ago

Really good, Ian. Quite a day you had, and you opened your eyes and heart to it all. So often we never see the things around us and miss out. Thanks so much for sharing. I am touched by Lisa’s comments too.

11 years ago

Sheila, your words “So often we never see the things around us….” are something I am trying to improve on. Thank you for sharing all the way from Nebraska.

11 years ago

It is amazing how we pray and pray for God to give us guidance during times of trials and tribulations and get the answer that is loud and clear. I was expecting to hear his voice in my head but it didn’t come. Well, it didn’t come in the manner I was hoping for. Down and discouraged, I felt self doubt that just maybe I was not worthy of an answer. However, the answer was just a few clicks of the computer away. This blog jumped off the page and smacked me in the head like the commercial “I could have had a V8”. God did not abandon me. His answer was right in front of me. Your words woke me up. I am so blessed. “Woe” is me no longer. I am surrounded by such an awesome, loving family like the little girl at the Subway. I have strong healthy legs and feet and like the young man at the gym I can persevere and move forward. Thank you for sharing your experiences, because they blessed me and uplifted my spirits. I look forward to your future blogs.

11 years ago
Reply to  lisafox

Thank you for sharing this……it brought tears to my eyes, and it made my day. God does communicate to us in a variety of ways, and your words illustrate that beautifully.

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