Well, back here again. It's the same bench for now, but I'll get to that later.
I got to sit here the other day with Douglas for a bit. It seems I've seen him around quite a bit more lately. He seems to welcome my company with little hesitation now, which is a good thing. You see, with Douglas, he's always been open to a hello, good morning type conversation, but he would shortly wander on his way. It was visible with little difficulty to see that he didn't really trust people. That as you sat there and asked how he was, that he could tell that most people really didn't care, and he might be right. So anyway, as I continue to intrude on his bench territory, we get the opportunity to talk more frequently, and every time, the conversation is a little longer. Sometimes, we're even comfortable just sitting on that bench together, not really saying anything, the way two old friends might. That you don't have to have conversation for fear of an awkward silent moment or something.
Some things I've learned about Douglas recently...
He hasn't had a drink in 6 months, and I believe it! He looks so much better than he used too. He also goes to the Salvation Army church services on Sunday mornings! I hope that he is beginning to understand salvation and God's love and mercy. Hopefully, God will open the doors in our conversation to get a little further in depth into these things.
So, I was sitting there with Douglas for probably 45 min's or so, and after a bit of a silent, but not awkward, moment (lol), I decided I would go for a walk. You see it had been a bit of a boring day, and I knew I had far too much energy to get to bed, despite it was beginning to get late. So, regardless of the dangers of walking in leavenworth at night, I went for a stroll. However, I was smart enough to stay south of downtown. To do otherwise is really not that bright (don't be surprised if I do it some day though.) So, I walked east 3 or 4 blocks to the Riverfront Community Center. It's titled this because it's east edge banks the Missouri River. I then walked two blocks south to a small walking track that goes maybe a mile along the rivers edge. I began to walk down the track, but was quickly dissueded as I stared at a roadblock in the path indicating construction ahead. So, I stopped right there, and looked for a comfortable place to sit. To my suprise, not too far away was another park bench. Now I know all of you are gasping and covering your mouths in shock thinking "surely he's not going to cheat on his park bench!", but that's exactly what I did. I sat there at about 11 pm on a Sun night, enjoying the slight breeze, and staring peacefully at ol' muddy mo. Mo's grassy banks sloped slowly down to the waters edge, and from there the rippled currents took control of the scenery. In a steady, never ending flow, the moons rays swirled and faded as the water it was once reflected in passed down the winding channel.
In the background I could here a strong "WHOO WHOO" drawing towards me, as a train approached on the tracks twenty feet behind the path. I sat and visualized myself running along side the train and jumping on and riding it across the country. A scene I have played out many times in my head, but was quickly brought back to reality as the train grew closer and the ground to which my bench was attached began to tremble and shake, and my eyes witnessed the tremendous speed and power of the iron beast as it passed by. I quickly decided if I was to ever embark on this adventure, I'd have to find a parked train.
The whole experience was serene.
So, you might ask why I'm at my regular bench, as opposed to the bench at Mo's edge. Well, contrary to my expectations, the breeze at the rivers edge wasn't nearly as strong as the breeze downtown. Also, the path bench was not very well lit (mind you there was a light directly above the bench, but because it's a park, the lights go off at 10 or so), as my bench downtown is. Which would make reading my bible and blogging a rather difficult task. Another slightly degrading aspect is that because it's so close to the waters edge, that bench gets flooded with bugs.
So, in the end, there's no bench like home.
Thank you to those who prayed for my conversation with Mark. It went very well, and he's very excited to see what God will teach him in Texas.
A passage I shared with Mark, and one of my favorites...
"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven."
Great passage. In conjunction with Jeremiah 29:11, be encouraged that God has a wonderful future in store for you.
It's starting to rain, so off I go!