Writer, editor, stumbler after Jesus

Words for the side-of-the-road club

I have a friend who is an engineer. He talks plainly and makes and mends things. And one time he spoke words to me that were as beautiful as they were brief and unexpected.

You will hear the music again.

He said this to me at a time when I was stone deaf to everything but the hopelessness ringing in my ears and my heart. All the wheels of my life had not only come off, they had rolled away and the chassis was dragging along the asphalt, creating sparks.

My friend told me of when he had been in a similarly dark season some time before, wondering where everything had gone so wrong. Nothing seemed able to pierce the fog and despair that enveloped him, not even the music he loved to drive to.

Then, one day behind the wheel, he realized that the radio was playing. My nuts-and-bolts, no-nonsense friend pulled over to the side of the road and wept as he heard the music again.

You will hear the music again, he told me.

It seemed too good to be true, but I wanted to believe it, so I tucked it away like a promissory note. The words came back to me the other morning, as I sat with sunshine on my back, coffee in my hand, and a favorite tune in my ears.

I was reminded that I am hearing the music again—better than I would have ever thought possible, more sweetly than ever before.

There were many dark days of deafness, but they almost seem to belong to another person. And in some ways they do.

Whatever your situation today, let me pass on my friend’s sweet words.

You will hear the music again.

I don’t know when or how, but you will.

If you feel like you are at the side of the road with all the wheels off, don’t despair. Take heart from a member of the side-of-the-road club: my friend, or me, or Bartimaeus.

He too was by the side of the road—in Jericho, reduced to begging by blindness, when Jesus came by. Bartimaeus did the only thing he could; cry out for help. He didn’t call roadside assistance, he called on Jesus. And the good news we read in Mark 10?

“Cheer up!” the people around told him. “On your feet! He’s calling you.”

Jesus gave him back his sight. Bartimaeus recovered a different sense, but it was the same restoration of what had been lost.

Call out to Jesus.

You will hear the music again.

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