Sometimes the walk is a stretch

For the last two weeks, on Monday afternoon, you would have found me in the midst of a room full of women and one gent at the Y. Gotta give him credit for invading the harem, I guess….

The room pulsates with a blaring sequence of songs of a genre that can only be described as a combination of electronic hip hop, the theme song from Rocky and the William Tell Overture — in EACH selection…with lyrics that I hope and pray are not something crude, but who knows because I can’t understand them and besides….

We are barefoot and combining what appears to be ballet plies with boxing warmups all the while incorporating basic training exercises from ROTC boot camp. “Rest” comes when we balance first on one bent leg and then the other while our arms and bodies extend in maneuvers that remind me of our Graham when he imitates an airplane.

This is the world of “Piloxing”

And why am I doing this? Me?

The woman who as a high school freshman was so uncoordinated in the pompom tryouts that they made me a banner bearer because they felt sorry for me?

As in, I walked in front of the band holding one end of the Marching Admirals sign with an equally uncoordinated freshman at the other end. I can still hear the band director yelling “LOCHNER!!! YOU’RE OUT OF STEP!!!” ….. c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y….

Well, I will tell you why I am subjecting myself to this insanity. It is our pastors’ fault.

They have challenged our church to notice people that are in our daily life that may not have a church home and invite them to church on a special Sunday that is coming up in September.

I travel in very …. very …. small circles. So as I prayed for God to show me who may be in my path to invite, I began to realize that the young gal that kind of waits to walk out with me after Pilate’s (normal, slow moving but still quite painfully effective Pilates) might be my appointed “guest”.

I began to pray for her and as we have chatted the past month, she invited me to come to Piloxing. According to her heavily accented words and sweet smile, it would be a piece of cake for me….she is an optimist and a dreamer, I can tell…..

So I have gone to Piloxing and Pilates, with more than just my health in mind. And in chatting with her and walking out to our cars after class, I have learned a little more about her life.

Like that she just learned to speak English in the last two years, when she moved here with her husband for his job. And that she left her family and friends half a world away and is doing her best to be at home here. And that really she hasn’t understood most of what I have said as we have walked to our cars three days a week.

But I realize that she understood my smile and the fact that I have waited for her and walked with her and attended a class she invited me to, even tho she is young enough to be my daughter. And I hope she has felt the love of Christ in my efforts.

I will be honest, I don’t know if I will invite her to church on that special Sunday we are having. It’s not because of fear but rather a respect for timing.

But my heart has developed a place for her and a desire to be someone she can know cares about her. And as I pray for her and change my routine a little so that I can spend time with her, who knows….God will lead me when the time is right.

As one of our pastors said on Sunday, I care about God and so I care about the people He cares about. And that is for all people, because all people need Him.

How is God stretching you as you learn to care about others?

How has God interrupted your life so you can have the opportunity to share your faith?

Everyone either needs the Gospel, or needs to be encouraged in their faith walk.

It’s a win win when we just openly love people in Jesus’ Name <3