I met Lyndsey Plute her freshman year in college and since then I have been amazed at the way she lives her life. Lyndsey lives wide open to the ways of God. As a young adult, she looks around for what God is doing and she enters in! I learn from her and am inspired by her. Read her story and be so yourself…- Willow
A couple of weeks ago, my bike got stolen. I walked out of my house, backpack and helmet in hand, and was ready to conquer another day at work. But when I turned the corner, ready to unlock and hop on my bike, I noticed it was gone. GONE! The bike that was given to me from my aunt and uncle after they bought and fixed it up for me. The bike that gave me plenty of fun times with friends. The bike that got me to work every
day. I literally stood there for a minute, swore and started crying. I ran back into the house and bawled my eyes out to my roommate, proceeded to cry as I walked to work, and sobbed to my coworkers. It was a weird feeling knowing someone violated my space, that something so special was
taken from me.
I was bitter about it the whole morning. I couldn’t focus on my work and I kept thinking about where my bike could possibly be and why this had to happen. But slowly, as I continued to work at my desk and refocus on the day ahead, I relaxed a bit more with every click of the mouse. I was reminded that there is a reason for everything. God has this under control and trust in Him would be the only thing that would get me to change my perspective. Maybe there is a reason why I need to walk to work? Maybe there is a reason why this person needed my bike so badly? Those things only God knows, and I prayed that He would show that to me.
A couple days later as I walked home from work, I told myself to keep my eyes open. Now that I was forced to walk, I tried changing my perspective to look around at my surroundings as I was going at a slower pace than if I were on wheels. I tried to take a new look at the things I saw and the people I passed by. Just as I went through one of the crosswalks, a girl on a bike pulled up to the sidewalk and shouted my name. It was an old friend that I haven’t seen in ages, and was meaning to catch up with. Our conversation left me feeling better than I did, and that wouldn’t have happened if I were on my bike!
The week went by and I noticed something else that I didn’t see as much before. There is a large amount of homeless adults and teens that spend their time on the same street I take to work. It especially breaks my heart to see teens congregating together without homes or parents to go back to. It’s hard to see women and their children who are looking for money, or even just somebody to talk to. And so, I told myself that I would say hello to any person I walk by, no matter their monetary status. I got a lot of “good mornings”, a handful of blank looks, and one “Hey, there pretty lady!”
You never know what a simple “hello” could do to somebody. It may show that someone actually cares about them. It may start someone’s day off on a slightly better note. The important thing to remember is not the responses we may hear back, or the smiles we can tangibly see, (We may not get a reply at all!) but rather, remember that our simple gestures could spark the slightest bit of love in someone, which may be the just thing that ignites the fire.
One of these ‘hello’s” actually did turn into a great conversation. I met a man named Timmy on my walk home a couple of days ago, and he was sitting on the edge of the sidewalk, his cart on his right side, and a cigarette in his left hand. His eyes lit up when I greeted him, and he immediately proceeded to talk to me about his ideas on life, and the problems he is currently facing. After awhile, I asked to sit down next to him and joined him on the sidewalk. I continued to listen and I got a better glimpse of his perspective near to the ground as we looked up at people walking by. It seemed like they towered over us while they hurried along to their important destinations, glimpsing down out of the corner of their eyes. Don’t get me wrong. I AM that person. We all are those people. But for a minute I got to get down to Timmy’s level and get a snapshot of what he sees every day.
Timmy told me about existence. Initially, he seemed very confident that existence is happiness. That’s how he started out, but then his ideas
began to shift as he processed about his purpose in life. He asked me over and over: “What is the purpose of existence?” “Why am I sitting here on this sidewalk, while everyone else has warm beds to go home to?” “Why don’t I have a girlfriend?” “Why do I feel so lonely?”
I told Timmy how God changed my life 3 and a half years ago. I, too, was feeling particularly lonely one week in my freshman year of college. God made His presence known to me, and in an instant I knew I wanted to follow Him for the rest of my life. I told Timmy that since that point, I’ve been growing closer to God and the more that I trust Him, the more He reveals the path that I should take.
We talked more about God and how He created us to love other people. We talked about Jesus and the pain that we can identify with in Him. Our existence is to love, and if we call out to God and trust Him to guide us toward that, He will show us where to go.
The words and prayers I spoke with Timmy echoed exactly what God has been reminding me. I am to love others, just like Christ loves us. Biking to work became my routine, but now I have a new routine of trying to notice and greet those around me. I feel like I have been constantly reminded to do that, and maybe this time God chose to take away my bike to make it a daily habit in my life. You never know why things like this happen, but if we can try to take a step back and change our perspective to see the goodness amidst the bad, it will only help us love others better. This is why we exist, and God is calling us to love in every seemingly good and bad circumstance. Let this be our prayer. – Lyndsey Plute