Monday, August 19, 2013

The Moving Van

On our way into town the other day, I noticed a large U-Haul truck passing on the overpass above us.  I  had to wonder what they were doing, whether moving to a new city, why, where, and just what the story could be.  It was 9:45 on a Sunday morning, after all.  Were they coming from hours away, exhausted and almost to their destination?

Then there's the truck itself.  What's in there?  It could be household items, yes.  But it could be instruments, the contents of a business, just about anything.  Well, anything smaller than an elephant anyway.

There's little you can tell, really.  The only thing I know for sure is that the truck was the same orange variety we've used umpteen times.  I know which way he, she, or they were headed and at what time.

Now let's say the driver and I ran into each other at a truck stop and struck up a conversation.  Let's say he's headed to someplace I've been, but not for years.  And he's going for a completely different reason I went.

Since I've been the same place he's been, I obviously know everything he's doing.  I take a moment to tell him exactly where to go and how to get there.  All I needed was to hear that he's going to the same city where I've been, in the same type of vehicle, so I can tell him everything he needs to know, right?

But I've not been where he's going.  He may be completely across town from where I've been. And where I was may not even be there anymore.

I know nothing of his vehicle and how it works.  I know that the one I had wouldn't go above 65 miles per hour, and the air conditioner was out.  Maybe his is fine.  Maybe mine was fine, but his AC is out.

And here's the big one.  Don't miss this.

I know nothing about his load.

Unless he raises the back of the moving van, unpacks everything inside, and spends hours if not days explaining it all, I'll never know the load he carries.

Even if he does explain it, I'll never know.  I'll never know the significance or insignificance of the belongings in tow.  I'll never feel the way he felt when he saw the things he saw.  He cannot recreate for me, even if he tries, the experiences, relationships, loves, hates, joys, and hurts that go along with the load's accumulation, packing, and unpacking.

But what if I really want to be of help or encouragement to him?

I offer him an ear.  A friend to share the load.  I offer him a hand to unload the boxes, worrying not what is in them but placing my concern in that whatever it is, it is important to him.  I handle each piece with care.  I certainly don't try to take the boxes or the whole truck... or tell him to abandon it and come with me.

I pray for him.  Maybe with him.

And then, as I go back to my own load, I remember his.  I learn from it, from what I saw, what I felt, what I experienced.

But not once... no, not once... can I tell him how to carry his load.  What to get rid of, what to keep, how to feel about it.  Those judgments are not mine to make.  God made this man; his providence made the load and the incidentals surrounding it.  My unwarranted advice only complicates his journey.  If he asks for advice or opinion, I hope I'd be as loving and truthful as I can... but always pointing to the author and finisher of the story.

We're called to help each other carry, not take away the load entirely.  We can't drive two trucks.  Just the one.  And I don't know about you, but I seldom do a great job of driving my own.

Thanks be to God for all the great "moving partners" I've... and we've... ever had.

1 comment:

  1. this is true on so many levels. wise thoughts. I will be sharing this one.


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