Written by Matthew Kohrell of encounters with the ancients on September 13th, 2020.
The Wanderer’s Encounter on a Path
Walking down the forgotten lonely path, the wanderer was looking for a peaceful place. Feeling life was too much of an ordeal, the wanderer wanted to find the perfect spot. The wanderer walked under the shade of the trees fully covering the path from view to the outside world. Thoughts and feelings of dejection, hopelessness, and despair flooded the mind of the wanderer.
Coming upon a peaceful spot above a stream, the wanderer was startled to see a man sitting on a log.
“Welcome my friend. Hey have a seat on the log across from me. Rest a little. This path is beautiful but also difficult in places.” The man spoke with an accent the wanderer did not recognize.
“Uhm. I am not sure.” The wanderer sighed.
“Might as well rest up. Here is a bottle of water for you. It has never been opened as you will see, so it’s safe. Rest my weary friend.”
The wanderer looked at the man with curly black hair, olive complexion, and kind soft brown eyes. For some reason, the wanderer felt safe enough to sit and take the bottle of water as if an inner voice was saying, “ Stay it’s safe.”
“Well okay just for a few minutes,” the wanderer could barely utter the words.
“You know a path like this reminds me of one of the worst times in my earthly life,” the man shared.
“Earthly life?” The wanderer’s curiosity peaked.
“Oh we can get to that in a moment. My name is Cleopas by the way.” the man introduced himself.
“Uhm okay’ the wandered replied.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me your name. I know it anyway.” Cleopas assured the wanderer.
“How do you know my name?” the wanderer hesitantly asked.
“You are the reason I am sitting here my friend. God sent me here to talk with you a bit.” Cleopas explained.
The wanderer inwardly thought it was freaky.
“Yes, it would be kind of freaky I guess. I mean if I were you, I would think the same thing.” Cleopas reassured.
Startled the wanderer proclaimed, “Okay so you have my attention now!”
“Good my friend. By the way I also know what it is that you have in your backpack and why you are out here. I am here to let you know some things,” Cleopas shared.
The wanderer clutched the backpack wondering how anyone could know that in the backpack was a bottle of pills and how anyone could know the plan was to stop at a place off the path and take the whole bottle. The wanderer inwardly wondered if Cleopas really was sent by God, if God was also disappointed in the wanderer.
“No my friend. God is not disappointed with you. God loves you more than you realize or can understand. That is why God sent me to you.” Cleopas comforted the wanderer.
“But you don’t understand,” the wanderer blurted out.
“Tell me, then what I do not understand, Cleopas encouraged.
“It is all bad. I let everyone down. It seems like that is all I ever do. The doctor gave me these pills because the doctor says I have depression. All I know is that there just doesn’t seem to be any hope for me. The world would be better off without me,” the wanderer teared up while sharing.
“I think I understand a bit of what you are feeling. May I share about one of the worst times in my earthly life?” Cleopas asked.
Wiping away the tears, the wanderer nodded in agreement.
“I followed Jesus Christ when he was on earth. I saw all of his miracles. He taught me and my friends so much about God, about ourselves, and about how God wants a relationship with us. But then Jesus was arrested, I was there when he was arrested. I wondered how a man who could walk on water and calm a storm with a few words could let them arrest him. The worst day of my earthly life was that Friday that Jesus was tortured and then executed by crucifixion. Crucifixion was a brutal way to be put to death. The worst day of my earthly life was when my mentor, teacher, friend, and Savior was put to death. I lost all hope. I was wandering down a path called Emmaus with a friend of mine. We were both distraught beyond description. But then a wonderful thing happened.” Cleopas paused while recalling the moment.
Hooked by Cleopas’ story, the wanderer wanted to know what happened, but Cleopas seemed to be lost in thought. The wanderer blurted out, “What Happened!!!”
“Oh yes. Sorry. Just thinking about it brings back so many memories. Well, what happened was that a man met us on the Emmaus road. He asked why we were so distraught, so we told him all about how Jesus had been killed. We felt there was a reason we should talk with him more so we urged him to join us for the night in an inn. When he took bread, and blessed it, our eyes were opened to recognize him. It was Jesus. Jesus had defeated death. Seeing him turned the worst time in my life into the best time in my life.” Cleopas shared.
The wanderer sat with mouth agape but pressed Cleopas, “what happened next?”
“Well Jesus told us to go tell the others we had seen him. He appeared to all of us on many occasions and then we saw him ascend to heaven but only after he told us to tell the world about him. Jesus promised he will come back to earth someday, but for now he is in heaven on his throne. What a glorious sight that is.” Cleopas beamed.
“So you have seen him in heaven?” The wanderer pressed further.
“Oh yes. You see God sent me here briefly from heaven to talk with you.” Cleopas explained.
“Me? But why?” The wanderer was really curious now.
“To tell you Jesus loves you. In him you have hope. Jesus died for all of your sins, mistakes, and to make it possible for you to have a relationship with God. Jesus wants you to trust in him, go back home, and get some help because with Jesus there is always hope.”
The wanderer gulped some water and took a deep breath. “Jesus wants me to trust him. How do I know?”
“There is no cell reception out here. That is why you chose to come here. But your cell phone is about to ring. You need to answer it.” Cleopas instructed.
The wanderer’s cell phone rang. Amazed by that, the wanderer answered wondering what the call was about. “Uh, hello.”
“Honey please come home. We can work this out. Please just come home.” the voice urged.
“Uhm, okay, I will be there in about an hour.” The wanderer hung up.
The wanderer looked at Cleopas and said, “well, I guess I should go home.”
Excellent choice my friend. I will walk with you back to your car.” Cleopas stood up.
The two walked together back down the path to the wanderer’s car. While walking they talked about many things. The long conversation stirred a glimmer of hope in the wanderer’s heart. When they got to the opening of the path close to the wanderer’s car, the wanderer confided in Cleopas.
“I was going to take my own life because I felt everything was hopeless. But I am going to go home and try to work things out. I hope Jesus will help me.”
“I know he will help you my friend. Go home now.” Cleopas patted the wanderer on the shoulder.
The wanderer started to walk to the car, but looked back in time to see Cleopas just disappear from sight in front of the wanderer. With that the wanderer got in the car and began to drive home.
Note from the author
If you feel there is no hope, please take the first step to ask for help. If in school, talk with a school counselor. You can also seek out a church and talk with a pastor. You can call In the USA you can call- 800-273-8255. If in another country, please google the number for suicide prevention.
You are worthy of love. Jesus proved that when he died for us and defeated death for us. God LOVES you!!!