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OK – onto tonight’s post!
I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but it just seems like lately, God is having a field day, plopping me down into really fascinating situations.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting more bold in “stepping out” for Him, but for whatever reason, it’s like every day presents a new and interesting opportunity that could have only been orchestrated by God.
Like, for example, the 40-minute conversation I had with an atheist over the weekend.
Allow me to set the stage: I was – surprise surprise – praying outside of Planned Parenthood. And let’s just say, I don’t really blend in. Namely because, I’m wearing my signature sun hat. Because…I’m anal about my skin. Doesn’t matter – rain or shine, I’m wearing this UPF 50+ sunhat. Haha — it’s not as hideous as it sounds. It’s actually *the most* chic — Audrey Hepburn esq, if you will.
But suffice it to say — it prohibits me from simply, “blending in.”
But anyway — this young guy…around my age…he approaches me and says, “Hey, I’ve seen you here before. I live on this street. What are you doing here?”
And, frankly – I was impressed at the gonads this guy must have had to try and “pick up” a girl when she is literally holding a rosary and praying outside an abortion clinic in the rain. So I put on a pleasant smile, and engaged in conversation, all the while thinking — Alright, batter up. What in the world am I going to say. Sink or swim, it’s go time.
So, I explained to him that I was there praying for the end of abortion.
And with that, began one of the most profound conversations I’ve ever had in my life.
I was able to share with him about how the anorexia in my past taught me that value and worth of a human life, which he found particularly intriguing. He wanted to know what I was hoping my presence there on the sidewalk would accomplish. And then we talked about faith.
And this is where the conversation really got interesting.
He mentioned to me how he was an atheist, and that he’s really been searching for truth. He’s been going through all these different spiritualities and religions, looking for purpose.
Then he looked me dead in the eyes and asked, “Do you ever feel like you’re made for more?”
And, taken aback by the beauty of his spirit shining through, I just smiled and said, “Absolutely.”
And pressing, he followed up, “I mean, really, what is the meaning of life? Why are we here?”
Now, let’s pause for a moment. I have never had an interaction like this before, nor was I prepared to have an existential conversation of this magnitude on the corner of a busy New York street, in the rain, in front of a Planned Parenthood.
So, I did the best I could…but I’m afraid I wasn’t as bold or as eloquent as I would have liked.
But I said, “Well, I think the meaning of life is to love. To love people where they’re at…not to judge, or condemn…but just to love. Like Jesus did. And be a light to the world.”
We continued to talk for another twenty minutes or so, and I don’t know – I just really felt like this guy was surprised to hear what I was saying, given the situation, and what I assume were his preconceived notions coming into the conversation.
I think he was expecting me to say how I was critical and judgmental of the women who walked in or out of that door. So when he heard me say that I just wanted to love and support them, I could practically see his opinion of “prolifers” change.
But coming home that night, his question haunted me: “What is the meaning of life?” I kept kicking myself, feeling that I really struck out when this big, beautiful “home run” opportunity was literally tee’d up right in front of me.
That night, falling asleep, I was listening to a Christian podcast. Being that we’re embarking on Holy Week, I was wanting to prepare my heart with some extra reflections on God.
I thirst – one of the last things Jesus says on the Cross. Yes – it was a fulfillment of Scripture in Psalm 69. But it also calls to mind another time that Jesus was thirsty…John 4:7 — When He asks the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink – “Will you give me a drink?“
Jesus thirsts for us.
For me. For you. For our hearts.
Jesus, on the Cross – literally pouring himself out in love for us, is thirsting for our response to Him and for our love for Him in return.
And that’s when it hit me…
That is the meaning of life: our response to His thirst.
Our Savior, thirsts for our love. So how then, are we going to respond.
How can I live my life in response to His thirst for my heart.
There it is.
I closed my eyes, and imagined the beautiful and blood stained face of our Lord, on Calgary, looking into my eyes saying, “Caralyn, I thirst for you.“
And that, friends, broke me.
How can I live my life in response to that? That is my purpose. That is the “more” that we all feel we have been made for. Our meaning on this earth.
I hope I run into that guy again, so I can talk to him more about this. And you know what? Something tells me I will…
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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