Thirty-six minutes. That’s how long it took me to run 5K today. I am getting back into the swing of it. I had been running consistently before the school year started last August, but, with my focus on mastering my career, running had just not been happening. Now, though, since I don’t have to rush home to meet our kids off the bus, and hustle with the evening routine, or take them to extra-curricular activities – and since the professor-husband is home, too, all the time now – I DO have a bit more time. So, I have been using some of the time to get back into running.
During my run today, I was thinking about the below tweet from Trillia Newbell:
I’ve noticed the “strange times” during my runs, too, over the past couple of days. For example, two women stood on the opposite sides of the road talking with each other – I made sure to run smack-dab in the middle of the road as I passed them, putting them each at an even distance away from me. As I passed, I held out an arm to each of them and shouted with a smile, “Six feet!” They laughed and shook their heads in understanding. I think one of them said something smart back to me, but I didn’t hear because I had my headphones on and music playing. I kept on smiling and running.
Yesterday I felt bad about it, but for whatever reason, today I felt really bad and self-conscious about it – that is, spitting on the road or off to the side into a yard. I ought to probably stop doing that, for the sake of other people’s conscious. But, I just don’t know what I’d do when I need to spit. You know how it is, if you’re a runner, there are just times you need to spit. Perhaps I could somehow rig a hydration pack with one of those spit suckers from the dentist’s office, instead of a straw? That would be an awkward sound, running down the road and passing by people… “shhhhhlurrrrrck”. Or, maybe I can carry an empty water bottle with me, and just spit into that? Gross – and awkward, too.
I’ve noticed some strange things on the road, too, as I’ve been running in the hood these days. I saw a pair of blue disposable gloves. I remember I saw the Amazon delivery guys wearing some like that the other day when they delivered next door. At first when I saw those lying there on the road (in a completely different part of my hood, by the way), I threw my hands up in annoyance and shook my head. “Why couldn’t the folks have disposed of them properly?” was the question running through my mind. But after a few days, when I saw them again, I thought to myself – “No, that’s alright. That’s probably good. Just drop the gloves there, and if there is any virus on them, the virus will die off in the heat. They’ll be cleaned up later, after they’ve been beaten good with the sun.”
In another part of the neighborhood, I was assaulted by a used condom lying on the road. Likely it was dropped there from an immoral car session, because, ain’t no decent, MORAL human being gonna be so NASTY. (At least I hope not. And if you are, shame on you! Repent. Ask God to forgive you and help you. Get your act together, and stop that. No, really.) The other day when I walked by that particular place in the road, the thing was gone…. at least I thought it was. When I ran by there again today, it was there again! Believe me, I ran WAY on the other side of the road, like the priest and Levite – ain’t gotta be no good Samaritan to that thing – and tried to show as much disgust as possible. And, O BOY, was I ever so tempted to yell at the people I saw in the driveway of the house in which the thing was in front of. REALLY tempted.
And then I saw THIS on the road. This was a happy and caring message, but still strange…
Early in my run today, I was listening to the Dwell audio Bible app, and specifically, Matthew 7:17-20:
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
As I listened to this, I had a moment of conviction, because I am not – and my marriage and family are not – producing good fruit like I think we ought to be (*sarcastically* according to my flawless, angelic point of view). And so, I compulsively raised my hands up and prayed out loud (yes, as I was running), “God, help me, I have a disease!” And in a split second I remembered that I was in public, and that we are in the time of COVID-19 (although, I didn’t see anyone around me in my immediate or peripheral vision) and I quickly continued to say out loud, “Not the coronavirus. I don’t have the coronavirus, but rather, disease of the soul.” And I continued more quietly, in all sincerity, asking God to help me with the disease of my soul – and the disease in my family life.
And, AMEN. He’s a good father and I know he’s heard my prayer and I am going to see miracles.