The Hitchhiker – an encounter with the divine


Every story I’ve shared actually happened. This story is no different.

It was 2 days before my wedding to Crystal and my heart was heavy.

I’d been married before and while I would not change anything about my past, I was hesitant to marry again, even though I’d been told by God, this was my soulmate. 

Heavy in my heart, I asked my advisor, “how can I find peace in this and surrender?”. 

“You need to put your feet in the ocean. It will cleanse your spirit.” she said very casually. 

There was no consideration in her voice for the fact that the ocean was over a 4 hour drive and I was to be married in just a couple days! The look in her eyes was unmistakable, she was serious and I didn’t have a choice.

What happened on this journey was nothing short of a miracle. 

I told Crystal that I needed to take a journey alone, go to the coast of Fort Bragg, and put my feet in the ocean. “Wait what?” She replied. “I don’t understand, why are you doing this?”

Answering carefully and feeling her fear I replied “I don’t know why. It’s just what I’m being told to do and I have to do it love. I promise I won’t be long”. 

She reluctantly agreed, but wasn’t happy about it because it didn’t make any logical sense. 

A journey was about to unfold that would change my life forever.

At the time I was driving a new Audi TT Roadster Convertible that my hard work and recent financial success had rewarded me. While the long drive didn’t sound like something I wanted to do, I was going to make the absolute best of it. 

I put the top down, cranked my music and started to enjoy my trip through the curvy mountain road between Chico and Fort Bragg, California.

Having spent years driving this route on my way to work, I was used to the roads. Used to every single turn and used to seeing the constant barrage of hitchhikers on the road. 

On my many drives, I would pass hitchhikers, sometimes stopping to pick them up for conversation on the trip. I always used the same “test” before deciding to pick them up. 

I would pass them and watch their faces after I passed at full speed. If they were holding anger, I would not stop and would keep going. Any emotion other than anger resulted in me immediately pulling over, or turning around to pick them up.

I had my radio cranked and was enjoying the drive when I saw this man dressed in a long robe in the distance in front of me. He saw me approaching and put his thumb out. While I felt compelled to pick him up, he still had to pass the “drive by test”. 

As I flew by him in my fancy-ass car, not only was there no anger in his face, he actually smiled!

All 4 wheels and the anti-lock brake system worked together to bring me to an immediate stop, a short distance from this oddly dressed man. 

As he approached the car, I was overcome with peace. Not the “oh this is a nice spa” kind of calm. The kind of calm that made me realize I was in the presence of someone very rare and very special and that I would likely never meet anyone like this again. 

As we drove he told me of his travels, his way, and I was mesmerized by him. All I wanted to do was to serve and give to this man. Seeing he had only a very small bag of possessions, I offered him a flashlight to guide his way. He thanked me by saying “you are very kind. I am not in need of any light, all of the light I need is provided by God. A flashlight would actually make it harder for me to see”. His words stung with a truth that made me feel dirty as a human being. This was definitely not his intention, he only spoke the truth and only knew the truth.

I tried to offer him a couple of other things, but it became clear, he didn’t have any “need”. 

I surrendered that this man was so much more wealthy than me. 

He was without any desire, or any need. He was full, complete, and beautiful. The most beautiful man I had ever met, and the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, even until today. 

My final offer was the one thing he did accept. 

“Would you join me for dinner? After that I’m going to the beach to put my feet in the ocean.”

He lit up, smiled, and said “I would really like that”.

We sat mostly in silence the rest of the trip. I simply enjoyed being in his presence. I didn’t want it to end. 

As we entered the restaurant, it was like a scene from a western movie. Everyone in the restaurant stopped what they were doing and stared at him until we were seated. 

I had been in this specific restaurant many times before and this had never happened. It wasn’t because we were from out of town. This was the first time I had this man by my side. 

Everything he represented and did was different. 

When we ordered water, he asked for “no ice”. I had just learned how cold water was not good for the body, but I was not practicing it. He abstained from meat and dairy also. This man was the embodiment of everything I’d been learning and would learn. 

He was the way. A way I fantasized about living, but a path I was not willing to travel yet. It was intoxicating to observe in practice. 

We left the restaurant and headed to the beach so I could play my flute and get in the water. 

When we arrived I knew… my time with this man was done. I held peace in my heart, dipped in the ocean, played a few songs on my flute, then got in my car to head home to my love.

How was I going to explain this to anyone?

Who would believe me anyhow?

Who was this man, really?

In my soul, I know who he was and I believe I know why he arrived for me. The gift he gave me has changed my life and the lives of so many people since. He forgave me without speaking a word and he gave me the gift of forgiveness for others. 

This is a gift that sits dormant inside us all. 

I’ve only spoken of this with a few people. I’ve been afraid of the judgment and the rejection that could come. But I still use his gift daily as I hold love and forgiveness in my heart when I speak or talk with anyone since that day. It’s easy when you get used to it 🙂 We need more forgiveness for each other and now is the time. I love you and I forgive you.

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