Thursday afternoons are one of my preferred times during my hectic week to enter into holy ground, while listening to life stories. I truly enjoy volunteering as a spiritual care Chaplin at a local hospital. Each week I come home with a story that touches my heart and makes my Christian journey a fulfilling adventure into God’s world.
Today my son borrowed my car, which meant my husband drove me to the hospital, and would pick me up after we were both finished work. His work kept him over-time, which then meant I needed to take a taxi home. I have not taken a taxi in years and was really having a hard time justifying spending $20.00 on the fare. It was not my preference to phone the cab company, but waiting for another hour was not my desire either.
What I did not realize moments before I entered the cab was that I was about to enter into another life journey through story. I am not sure how our conversation led to the taxi driver sharing his story, but he did. I found out we are the same age, grew up in the same Prairie city, however our life journeys are totally the opposite.
He told me during our conversation of how he finds fulfillment in life by traveling, drinking, gambling, and women. And how on his last trip to the Dominic Republic he thought he was winning lots of money through his gambling, when within a second he had lost it all plus all the money he had taken with him and does not remember a single thing. He was upset because he now had to work hard to make ends meet in his life. I felt like I was in a live Oprah show listening to a sad tale of loss or perhaps it was a twilight saga.
All I could do as I listened was pray and ask God to show me what to say. Here is where I believe a ray of sunlight burst through as Annie put it in her article Rayn’in Sunshine (a great article to read.)
He turned to me and asked if I worked at the hospital. I told him I was with the spiritual care department working as volunteer and how I find fulfillment in life by listening to others stories and showing them the love Christ through caring and listening. As I told him this, he started to apologize for sharing his detailed story. I assured him it was an interesting story, and that God knows all that he has gone through. He sorted gasped as I said this…I wonder what he would have done if I told him I am on staff at a local church!
The rest of the ride home continued to be full of colourful and interesting conversation. I believe this taxi driver saw something different in my words and actions. I believe even though my words were limited God touched this mans heart. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be a small burst of sunlight in a very dark story and to be able to keep this man in my daily prayers. I am now thankful I took the taxi and spent the $20.00 on fare.
Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything. (Proverbs 13:3 MSG)