Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Praying for Those on the Trail

In our town, we are blessed to have the Constitution Trail, a more than 45-mile hard surfaced trail running through the community, that was developed for walking, hiking, jogging and biking. The trail opened in 1989, using the old Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line that had been abandoned around this same time, which provided an appropriate pathway for a trail.
Each Wednesday morning, weather permitting, my good friend Neil and I enjoy spending time together walking the trail for two hours, covering five or more miles. We enjoy God’s creation (trees, birds, etc.) as we pass many people biking, walking, jogging, walking their dogs, pushing baby strollers, or sometimes running behind a baby stroller. I try to catch the eyes of those we pass by, with a smile, wave or “Good morning”.
One of the places we pass by on the trail is a small piece of land, adjacent to our church property, that our church purchased several years ago. We purchased the land with the intention of putting a few parking spaces on it, but that was never approved by the town, so it sits unused, except for being mowed by our faithful deacons. More than a year ago, my wife Tammy had an idea for the property, to put up what she calls a “Lucy Booth”.
Remember Lucy from the Peanuts series? A way for her to make money was to give advice, thus she set up a psychiatric help booth and charged five cents for advice. Tammy took that idea and developed her own sign in which Lucy advertised opinions for a nickel, thoughts for the day for a dime, and sound advice for a quarter. But next to Lucy’s booth, Snoopy offers prayer for free! (see sign above)
So, occasionally in the summer we go out to the church property along the trail and set up the sign. We bring some folding chairs and bottled water, and sit back.  What a joy it is to see the neighborhood children running with their basketball to go play at the church’s hoop.  We see many people walk or run by the sign, some of them looking at it. Most don’t make eye contact (as an introvert, I can understand that), but some do and we smile and wave to them. We pray for them as they go by. You never know what kind of problems someone is dealing with. It could be illness, loss of job, relationship issues, etc. Our only purpose is to be there for that person who is going through difficulties and just needs someone to talk to, or to pray for them.
I think it’s a wonderful way to be salt and light in our community (Matthew 5: 13-16), and use a piece of property that is not otherwise being used.
Have you done something similar in your community? Please share if you have. Blessings.

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