|My Friend's Shirt|
Made a new friend recently.
I take a walk down to the coastline quote often, part of my routine that includes working up an appetite or digesting a meal.
As I'm walking along the sidewalk adjacent to the sand, a distressed person is looking for a Spanish translator.
Asking what the matter is, they point to a man I saw a few days before.
The translator seeker tells me this man came up to them saying they wanted to die.
I began speaking to the man in Spanish and explained to him what the concern was.
He excuses himself and apologizes for alarming them...and walks away.
I chat briefly with those concerned
I thanked them for their concern, exclaiming that we are all God's children and need to be loved.
Prior to proceeding my walk we shared blessings and a few other kind words.
Minutes later I found the man and told him those people were concerned and perhaps they misunderstood his words.
He is fluent in both English and Spanish, but I spoke to him Spanish hoping to meet him where he seemed most comfortable.
He said he was looking for someone to talk to.
I asked if he would like speaking to me.
He happily obliged and we sit on the low wall between the sidewalk and the sand.
We sat for some time.
My new friend had been experiencing an unhappy outlook on life, feeling overwhelmed with his current circumstances and only being able to see the trouble.
What eventually came out was that he had been wondering why God has been keeping him alive.
He expressed he is in anguish and discomfort, suffering from Parkinson's disease.
He understands it will only get worse (more trembling and breaking down of the body).
I did my best speaking about how this world is a temporary place; our physical bodies are part of this world's material composition.
This is why we all will eventually be extinguished in one way or another, like the plants and trees and even the things mankind makes with their hands.
We shared about our lives, the good and not so good we have done.
I eventually got around to pointing out that even in suffering God is at work; that suffering is also purposed.
We suffer for making bad decisions (lying, cheating, etc.); these are the consequences of bad decisions.
We cannot blame others for these decisions and cannot blame God for the consequences.
We also sometimes suffer for making good decisions (being honest, doing what is right when others do wrong, etc.); we experience and learn what Christ went through.
I learned from the man that he has lived a decent life, and although having been focused on negative things, God has continued to care for him even in old age.
I encouraged him to set his mind and heart on things Above; God and His will.
I asked him to search for the good that God has established on earth, helping him realize with many examples how the good outweighs the bad by a considerable amount.
I was able to see his attitude changed as he reflected on this reality.
We shared much more to with one another; more intimate things of the heart I won't divulge here.
I will mention this was the second time I came across someone who was near their wits-end and contemplating the notion of ending their life, even there at the beach that beholds a beautiful view of God's vast creation; an expanse where sea blends with sky.
As with the previous encounter, God's timing was without coincidence, but quite serendipitous and full of purpose.