Rev. Doug Carr’s testimony
“I took our dog for a walk on state land north of Cheyenne, where she can run free. I came across an elderly woman (about 75) who seemed quite out of place. She had walking sticks (nobody uses them there) and was dressed way to warmly. Her face was flushed and she seemed confused. She had not been able to keep up with her husband and their dogs and she had been left behind. She asked me about a short cut; I recommended she travel back on the path I had come on. It was a little further, but a lot easier to walk on. She only had about 400 yards to go.
I felt badly about leaving her alone. I rationalized it by thinking that her husband would come looking for her. Not only that, but I saw a dog walker heading back on a path toward the short cut she planned to take. Surely it was her husband. But it was not.
About a mile and a half later, on the return swing, I spotted her on the short cut. She had only journeyed a hundred yards. I walked over to her and asked if she would like me to walk back with her, and she said “yes.” Then she shared much of her life story. Total strangers do that with me. In a nutshell, her 54 year long marriage had been a disaster. She had given up on forgiving his constant cheating. I walked her almost all of the way to her car, where her husband and dogs were waiting.
How much I helped that I woman I will never know. I do know that she just needed someone to listen to her.”
Rev. Carr had just finished the second day of the virtual Mission Express visit to Latvia and Nicaragua. He had used that time to reflect on what he had heard, felt and seen in Latvia and Nicaragua. Did God remind him about the scripture verse the team had to memorize? Romans 12: 10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” We don’t know what transpired between Doug’s heart and God’s whisper. We also don’t know what transpired in the older woman’s heart as she encountered Doug and his dog, and decided to share what was on her heart. One thing we know for sure is that God was present with these pilgrims.
A recent reading of Rev. Lynn Casteel Harper’s blog confirmed for me the importance of the sponsored virtual experiences and Mission Express Discovery trips, the Short-Term Mission desk has been sponsoring. We are all pilgrims and not passengers. We are God’s servants called for such a time as this, to be bridge builders, bridge makers, peace seekers.
Rev. Casteel Harper says ” Pilgrims go on journeys; passengers take rides. Pilgrims actively seek the sacred alongside other pilgrims; passengers passively get ushered along by the crowd. Pilgrims endeavor to traverse a more excellent way; passengers go along to get along, forfeiting their agency. The point is not that pilgrims never rest or release control, but that as pilgrims of faith we are collectively seeking—through prayer, worship, study, service, contemplation, acts of mercy and justice—to live “in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ”: a lifelong pursuit.”
We are Pilgrim Partners with God