During this stay at home order, running continues to give me solace. Both Brian and I work full time, care for three children, and play teacher and sped professional (one of us is better at this than the other…). So, as you would imagine, we both need an outlet.
On this Holy Saturday I went for a run. The weather was perfect. It felt so good to run, quiet and free. I ran in silence as I am now in the habit of doing. While singing worship songs (in my head) and admiring God’s beauty I saw a couple walking well ahead of me. Adjusting my running to remain properly, physically distant, I began to pass them. As soon as I pulled ahead, the man yelled out to me, correcting me on my form. When I gave a thumbs up, yelled thanks, and decided to continue running the way I run, he decided to shout more loudly and aggressively at me until I pulled out of sight.
Now, if you know me, you know my history with men is very complicated. Strange men make me feel guarded in general, so a man who is a stranger, yelling at me as I run by myself, left me feeling angry, scared, and emotionally drained. It immediately triggered times where men took advantage of my body, mind, or spirit. It’s not a place I like going back to unless I’m in my therapist’s office or speaking to someone I trust.
But there I was, on Holy Saturday, sifting through what happened in my mind; still 2.5 miles from my house. Luckily the couple was walking, so they were long gone after a minute or so (though I could still hear him yelling in the distance).
My question to God is never, “why me?” But rather, “what for?” As I asked God, “what for,” I remembered who He is. In the Christian faith we serve a God who knows what it is to be fully human. The person of Jesus, the one whom we celebrate this Easter understands what it means to suffer rejection, neglect, abuse—you name it, He gets it.
When I think back on all that has happened to me I remember feeling alone, especially as a child. But now, as I draw nearer to God, when bad things happen I know I can come to Him with my pain and He hears me. The more I read and study God’s word and speak with Him in prayer, I realize I am never alone. The comfort this gives me is a treasured gift.
In my longing for silence today I was reminded that our world is very loud. We must acknowledge this, lament the junk thrown our way, and lean into the shalom God desires for us. As always, I write not for pity, but to remind you who we are. Unfortunately, many women I know have experienced similar issues while running. Sisters who get it, if you’re reading this, I pray this Easter weekend you would remember who you are and whose you are. God’s beloved—and He adores you more than you could ever know.