share and show love
As soon as I packed my stuff into my cart and headed across the field toward the truck stop, the rain became extremely heavy very quickly! I started running as it was starting to pour. Just as I got close to an overhang by the gas pumps it was a full major downpour. The rain was extremely heavy!
I put my cart in the breezeway again and went inside. I sat down and watched the rain outside. It stopped after about 10 minutes.
I noticed a couple guys around the truck stop that I could help out. So I gave 3 different guys who looked homeless some money/food/meal cards/giftcards. They were very thankful and looked like it would really help them out.
I sat back down to relax at the booth and plan the day out. I wanted to go about 10 miles that day which would put me more into the down town area, or at least just east of it. So I mapped it out and figured I would do a half day while still resting up a bit.
As I was sitting there I saw the guy from the day before walk in (guy with backpack). I was more curious about him now especially since he was there two days in a row. He was walking around again and looked like he was getting organized again. He also plugged in a phone and charger into the wall and sat across from me. I sat there wondering but still didn't ask.
I had a visitor who was driving to meet me. I didn't know him and never met him, but he said he felt like he had to come meet me before I got too far. He was driving all the way from Dallas! That was 6 hours away from Amarillo. He made the trip just to meet me! So he had sent me a message that he was on his way.
The guy sitting next to me was finally kind of just sitting there and not too busy. So I decided I would ask him something. I asked "where you headed" and he responded short with "Pennsylvania". I asked "where you coming from?" and he replied "all over" and laughed. So I kept asking questions where finally I got his story...
His name is Stephen and he was diagnosed with a terminal cancer 9 months ago. Shortly before that his wife died of an illness as well. When he was diagnosed he was crushed and broke down to the point where he had a gun to his head. He decided at that point he needed to leave and search for a healing with god. He watched his father die from radiation and did not want to go through that as he has had nightmares about it his whole life.
So he left home in pennsylvania on his bike. Up to now he has ridden over 8,000 miles. He's homeless part of the time, and he works when he can to stay in motels also. He left from PA and rode across the northern states all the way to Oregon. Then down to California and on through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and into Texas. He hasn't taken any rides and has become closer to god on his journey. He has become more sick as the time goes and doctors say he will only live until December of this year, which is 5 months away. He struggles daily with pain and sickness but pushing through it to keep moving on his trek has allowed him to build his faith and to heal his spirit. He told me he never felt alive until he found out he was dying. That was a powerful moment for me.
Just as he was telling me more of his story, the guy from Dallas walked in and over to me and Stephen. As he walked up I noticed he had a Pink shirt over his shoulder. When he walked up I shook his hand and said he had to listen to this mans story. So me and Brian both heard more of how Stephen has experienced life in the last 9 months. He had pictures of a surgery he had in Arizona where they removed his kidney and pancreas I believe it was. The day he was out of the hospital he wasn't supposed to, but he hopped on his bike and rode all day by gods healing and power.
So after his story Brian seemed taken back. Then he said he wanted to share a story.
Brian had a daughter that was 11 years old. She was just a kid and was going through the years of her youth to enjoy childhood. Except something came up to interrupt that. At 11, she was diagnosed with cancer. The family was torn. She was upset and just wanted to be a kid. But now she was going to have to go through chemo and radiation. She was crushed and upset. Brian was also upset and hurt.
Through the pain and frustration, his daughter (Laurren) miraculously came to a place where she found something beyond Brians understanding. Brian was very frustrated one day and slammed a counter with his hands. That's when Laurren told him something that made him change. She looked at him and said it was OK. She said she wasn't afraid anymore. He didn't understand how she could not be afraid. After all she was 11 and facing one of the most painful things possible, and even possibly death.
They spent most days in hospitals, a lot of hospitals. They endured a lot of pain to see their little daughter go through this. It was a very hard time for the family and loved ones. Everything was hurt and there seemed to be no hope. When Laurren was 13, Brian said "she took a trip to Heaven". After a long hard fight, Laurren passed.
Brian said it was very hard. But something happened out of the process. He said there was an impact she left that was a blessing in disguise. All the pain and suffering she went through in her losing battle to cancer, was actually healing to Brian and the many people she touched. Seeing her come to a place where she wasn't afraid, knowing she was only moving on to a better place really worked on Brian's faith. It restored him. It healed him inside like nothing was ever able to heal him. She was like an Angel sent here to heal the people who got to experience the blessing she was. She saved people through example of how strong she could be. She was forced to go onto a fast track and show how much someone so small and young in years can find peace inside and let the fear leave her. Brian was lucky to have an Angel come down and heal so many people, including him.
Now this moment, to me, became divine intervention. Us 3 were there at that moment. All from different places on the country, and when we left, all heading opposite ways. It was a moment where we all had goosebumps and felt something so deep. And it was amazing.
So after that the rest of the day was definetley less powerful than that time we shared together. So much so that it will feel weird going back to writing about the rest of it.
Well, after that, Brian bought Stephen some lunch. I gave Stephen supplies and some money. Brian said a prayer for all of us and we all said goodbye.
I left there and headed west along the 40 through Amarillo. I walked about 5 miles and stopped at another truck stop. I had passed a handful of people to help along the way and gave each person some money and other stuff too. I have videos on my Facebook of some of them, but it takes too long to go through and get screen shots of each one to post pictures.
When I stopped there another visitor tracked me down. It was a guy who had visited me about 10 days before. He was driving through on business and wanted to stop again. He met me there and stopped to talk a while. I shared the story about the morning and he thought it was awesome. He also shared a story of a friend of his who fought cancer. It had really effected him and his friend who beat cancer really was a hero to him. It was really cool to hear and he was very emotional just telling it. So I knew it was powerful to him also. I didn't get too many details of the story but I could feel the emotion from him that it was also very moving. He couldn't tell too much of it before being affected. He had some stuff if I wanted it, but I was loaded with supplies. But he did give me $20. I said no but he said to use it for helping others. I can't say no to that as it is not right to those I can help. So I took it. He also said I was like a vessel to help others. I thought that was cool.
I left there and walked another 5 miles. I got to a Starbucks. When I got there two girls who had met me a few days before wanted to meet me for dinner. So we met at a Mexican fast food place across from Starbucks. It was really cool and we had a really funny dinner conversation. They reminded me of some of my friends back home, so that was cool. When we left there they hugged me and said goodnight.
I left there at dark around 10. I walked across the street to a Walmart and went behind it. I went behind some dumpsters and made a bed. But all of a sudden a bunch of ants were all over my stuff. I picked up my stuff and flung it around to get the ants off. Then I moved down a ways where there was a drop off next to a curb behind the concrete of the back of Walmart. It was just a strip of grass next to weeds and a fence. I laid there and fell asleep next to my cart. I woke up in the middle of the night hearing something loud right behind me. I woke up and it was a big rig backing up right by the curb. It was about 10 feet away from me and was a little freaky to wake up to. Nobody got out of the truck so I was thinking the guy just fell asleep in his cab. So after about 15 minutes I fell back asleep. I slept ok that night. There were still some ants biting me and roaches would crawl on my legs and wake me up here and there. But better than it has been.
at 6:37 PM