For as long as I’ve know my husband, he’s picked up hitchhikers. He drives a lot for work as an exterminator and, without much thought, will give someone a ride if they need it.
I hope that last paragraph helped convey my feelings of how not-a-big-deal this is to me. Like, it doesn’t stress me out at all. I never imagine someone pulling a shank or a gun and killing him. Ever.
I am completely calm about this totally safe habit.
Okay, here’s the thing. I’m just putting this in writing so I can say I told you so to Chris Graham’s dead body one day when someone kills him. I am NOT okay with my husband picking up hitchhikers. I don’t care if you’re all “but Mary, JESUS WOULD DO IT. Jesus IS the hitchhiker.”
I don’t care at all. Jesus needs to get a car or take the bus. It’s safer for everyone, Jesus.
I will discuss this in more detail with Jesus when I see him. Until then, put that thumb away, Son of Man.
Another concern I have: I’m not sure my husband’s faith is right. He believes in God. He’s a great worshipper. He sometimes reads his Bible but maybe not enough?
I worry about his faith journey because it doesn’t look like mine. I worry that he doesn’t love Jesus the same way–the right way–as I do.
My friend Laura once commented how much growth she had seen in Chris since she’s known him. How much he’s changed and matured since she first met him. In response to this, I said, huh.
Because I don’t see that. Maybe I can’t see it. I’m too close. And too critical. Because his faith doesn’t look like mine so I think it must not be there.
I’ve struggled with this for a while–like years–and mostly what Jesus has whispered to me is I need to CHILL OUT. He has shown me again and again that faith looks different for different people. Sure, there are universal Biblical truths, but they show up in each of us a little different.
For my Chris Graham, he is a servant. He will share and serve and give and help and assist any time he’s needed. And sometimes when he’s not needed. He’s here to make others’ burdens less.
For me, I’m not a servant. I’m not a giver. I sometimes look at people that give too much as naive and gullible. But Jesus was a servant. He served and gave and assisted any chance he got. Many things I think of as weak are actually traits Jesus tells us to model if we want to follow him.
And I’m mostly just like “but Jesus, don’t you need someone to boss all those helpful people around? I CAN DO THAT.”
Jesus hasn’t gotten back to me on that one yet.
A few winters ago I was heading home from the gym. It was a wintery mix outside, snow and rain trading off like they couldn’t decide who should stay. As I pulled out of the gym parking lot, I saw a very pregnant young woman walking on the side of the road carrying a bag of groceries.
Without thinking too much about it, I pulled over and asked her if she needed a ride.
She hesitated a moment. Probably to make sure I wasn’t a serial killer. When she realized I was just a sweaty, chubby white girl, the relief flashed across her face and she climbed in.
I asked her where she needed to go and she pointed to the apartments located right next door to the gym.
Like fifty feet from my car.
I said, “oh, okay,” and made the five second drive to her apartment complex. She then directed me to the back of the complex where I assumed she would kill me, because this is what happens in all those ridiculous books I read.
Once we got to her apartment–about 25 seconds after I picked her up–she mumbled “thanks” and got out.
My first thought was this was all her fault and she SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME she didn’t need a ride, but then I realized servants probably don’t think like that so I just locked the doors behind her because I’m an asshole, and I drove away.
That was the one and only time Ive picked up someone from the side of the road. It felt weird and really wasn’t that helpful. I was trying so hard to do what my husband so effortlessly does and mostly I just looked like an idiot.
I think that’s how faith works too. We can see what others do and want to do it; we can think their way is our way too. But then when we do it, it doesn’t fit. It feels fake and forced. So we stop doing that and try to figure out our own way, our own worship and faith. Maybe it’s when we establish our own faith away from our parents. Maybe it’s when we come back to Jesus after a long time away. Maybe it’s when we meet Him for the first time. Comparing makes us doubt other’s faith when we see them doing things a different way from us. And while some threads run through all our faith lives–faith, hope, love–there’s a lot of wiggle room on how we do that best, how God shows us to best do life with Him.
I feel like I’m slowly figuring that out. But I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty, it does not involve hitchhikers.
Mary great use of “shank” you are so gangsta. I liked the article. You’re kinda quirky and honest. Keep up the good work kiddo!
Life goal: use shank in a story. BOOM. 🙂
There are many gifts of Spirit. Picking up hitchhikers is definitely not one of mine, and I don’t feel guilty about that. I had a friend once who was washing hair for people in a nursing home or hospital. She confided in me that she hated doing it. I advised her that she right quick needed to find another ministry, as her distaste was no doubt clear to those she was attempting to minister to. She took that to heart and found a ministry of cooking and cleaning, and she was quite happy with that. I believe God wants us to find joy in our ministries. God wants joy for us.
And by the way, Mary, I don’t believe that you are not a giver. You share your thoughts and emotions. You share your humor! I think that helps a lot of people. I think Jesus is saying to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
And Chris Graham, you be careful.
That’s true that when we try to ministry in areas not meant for us, we do more harm than good. Great point.
And thank you for the encouragement! I’m sure God rolls his eyes at me sometimes…and then other times he says good job. HA.
When I was young – and dumb, a friend and I picked up a soldier on Shadeland Avenue near 10th Street and took him to Fort Harrison where he was stationed. We were not worried in the least – he had an Army uniform on and he was going to the Fort! He was real! But in today’s world – I wouldn’t pick anyone up. I have thought about that several times over the years and realized how lucky we were! Times were different then – but there were bad people even then. Guess God was watching out for silly young girls that day!
Shadeland and 10th–you were brave! But really, times are different and it’s scary now. Glad God watched out for you two.
I just need to know when you’re gonna put all this in a book and I can buy it and have it with me at all times? Or did you do that already and I’m the last one to know? I especially like the part ” Jesus needs to get a car…” and bet He laughed out loud when He read that.
AHHHHH. I’m supposed to be putting all of this into a book–BUT I’M SCARED AND LAZY. I’ll be sure you know when it finally happens.
My faith doesn’t include picking up hitchhikers either…..but, I agree, not everyone has the same gifts, and I don’t think God particularly enjoys being served unhappily or grudgingly. It sure is easy though to get in that mindset of thinking if people aren’t doing it like you are, they are doing it wrong!
Totally–and I’m sure we do so much damage to others that way. Blah.