I rarely talk to strangers. But in the middle of my down time when I was happily topped up with my time alone, I stumbled unwittingly but not begrudgingly into a conversation with someone I barely knew.

This stranger had gotten injured and the healing process too long to bear, Aless, we shall call this person, longed for her previous life before the injury. “It is too quiet here,” she says “there is nothing to do.” Her injury left her stranded in this town her parents raised her as a child but another place far away where she grew into adulthood calls to her. She misses her friends, her work, her old life.

The funny thing was that my need for escape from the bustle of city life brought me to this slow town. The area charmed my soul despite it’s shoddy exterior marred with dust and dirt. I loved it for the sparse population and the slow rhythms that would drive our over achieving society mad.

Aless’ despair brewed inside her like a storm, her eyes the window to her pain and there is not much one can do to help nor console. “I have nothing left to live for,” she sighs. I told her it could not be true, but my words hang in the air like incense in still air, not going anywhere.

I went away from that chat, glad that although her story was sad that Aless found some comfort and joy in talking to someone with ties to her old life. It also made me think that many times, we only have so much control over our circumstances.

Things happen, unexpected things.
And sometimes, the only thing we have the power to change is our mind.

Friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8,9

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