Hitching a Ride (an excerpt from BEHIND THE HALO)

Sometimes people are just tough nuts to crack. What tricks do you use to get through to them, Dear Reader?

Hungry. The people are all so hungry. How can I give them the encouragement they need
when this human body of mine nearly suffocates the spirit within me? But how can I turn away
from them? They’re my Father’s children, my brothers and sisters. Their hearts, their hands,
their eyes say they need the bread only I can give.

But this human body! It stumbles and gripes, and rarely does what it’s told. How can they
bear this flesh? This human frame screams for air and space, but how can I leave them? How
can I stay? Shall this frail body convulse into the sea and drown?Frustration dogged Jesus’s thoughts, until he turned to his heavenly Father in prayer for solace and relief.

“Father, forgive my short-sightedness and faint heart. You always provide a means to
your end. They mistake my laughter of surprise and relief for rejection of their greatest longings.
If only they knew my reliance on you is what empowers me to minister to them.

Why didn’t I see the boats before? How could I overlook the fishermen’s tired and
troubled faces? Forgive me, Father. I know you are the Creator of divine appointments, not
chance meetings. We are all here at this time to serve your purpose.”

The dialogue in his heart and mind never ceased. It was only through the constant
conversation that Jesus was able to complete the tasks he had been given by the Father.

“Simon, do you mind if I sit in your boat for a while? The shore seems to be running out
of room before the crowd runs out of needs. Don’t worry, I’m just going to sit here and chat with
the people for a bit.”

“How do you know my name? Why do you want to sit in my boat when there are many
others along the shore? Do I know you?” Simon asked, caution spilling over like a cup of water
crashing to the floor.

“You don’t know me yet, Simon, but sit with me and rest a while. I know you’re tired
and frustrated from the long night of fishing with nothing to show. It will be all right. Just sit and
rest for now.”

“How can I sit and rest when there’s work to be done? And why do you smile at me?”

“Simon, my joy comes from knowing our heavenly Father longs to give us rest and
comfort while our human brains resist him. I’m laughing at myself as well. Please, Simon, you’ll
understand soon. For now, sit, feel the lull of the waves as you listen to them lap against the
shore.”

“But sir…”

“Sit, Simon.”

Simon reluctantly took his seat in the boat as the crowds settled along the edges of the
water, and Jesus took a moment to prepare and focus his spirit by turning again to his Father.

“Father, there must be a big plan for this stubborn man. Thank you for giving him into
my charge. As I seek and minister to his needs, I pray he will learn how to seek and minister to
the needs of those around him.

“The crowds are still there. There with the water grabbing their cloaks and washing their
feet. they’re still longing, still hoping I will satisfy their deepest longings and hoping I can wash
away the sins and guilt of their souls.

“Thank you, Father! Thank you for loving them. Thank you for trusting me with your children. You are amazing and delightful, and your open arms ready to welcome. Use me now to pour out your loving, cleansing words to your children!”