I made it in last night, east coast late and dark here as the dickens. I knew ‘The Miles’ would bring something, I just didn’t expect it to be triumph. When I crossed over Biggs Bridge into Washington state from Oregon, I felt like a gold medalist having won something not just for myself, but also for my Country.
I’m sitting in my February bed now, looking out the window at a sight so beautiful, I hardly have words for it. From where I sit there’s probably an acre of land leading out to the bluff. Holmes Harbor separates Freeland from another portion of the island by at least a mile or so. It looks like a bunch of toy homes, like one could pick the village up and rearrange it all by hand. The beauty of the ice capped mountain range hovering in back makes it seem that much more unlikely to be real.
It was so dark last night I couldn’t see it, not even in silhouette, and was a little perturbed when I thought it wasn’t there. Fearing the owner had somehow wedged herself between the red barn and a leaning tree to get the shot of that mountain that made me dream about this place. But this morning…this morning there she was.
The drive was an adventure. A beautiful beast I ate, not mouthful by mouthful, but mile by mile. We live in such a beautiful country. I forbid myself the regret of not doing this sooner. Now is just as good a time as any to have begun. But just as I’ve heard a thousand times, the travel is contagious. I gasped and awed at the distant and aloofness of the Rockies in Wyoming; their grandeur and closeness in Utah; and what seemed to be her soft side, calm and softer folds in Idaho.
Once I finally heard God’s voice asking me for the specifics of this trip, I replaced the broad prayer of please with the request of “mountains and water”. I had no idea He’d go all out like this.
My car sort of broke down in St Louis, but that went down in God’s great way, as well. All the distance from Mt. Vernon I cried like a baby in overwhelming fear. The whole while God was saying “Go”, the car was going crazy. It made no sense to me. Every inch of covered ground seemed like I was being led to the gallows with a dunce cap on my head. I asked for the help I needed to praise Him anyway…and then the clarity came that changed my point of view.
I stopped seeing myself inside the screeching screaming car and saw me in the answered prayer instead. Inside the moment of the dream I was in that God had made come true. By His grace and comfort, the trust came back pouring in…
Whatever happens, it’s not only meant to be, it’s meant to be ‘ all good’.
My tears of fear turned to praise as I drove into St Louis… drove right up to The Griot. It’s the Black Cultural Museum on St Louis Avenue I’d seen in the tourist guide the night before and knew I HAD to go there before I passed on through. It was located smack dab in the middle of the hood of St Louis. But the doors were barred. The place was closed. I dropped my head in frustration. Not only had I planned to enjoy the exhibit, I wanted to know if somebody knew a decent & reasonable mechanic I could see…
Looking to the left, directly across the street, I saw a teeny tiny sign that read “Service Welding & Alignment”. I turned in and met Joe. No last name so we’ll call him Suspension Surgeon Joe because that’s what he was. A third generation car surgeon that God had led me to to get my all-the-way-dead-about-to-fall-out-front-passenger-side-ball joint diagnosed, part ordered from Cahokie, Il, delivered within the hour, installed in 7 minutes so I could get on with ‘The Miles’. All that, and Suspension Surgeon Joe threw in an old school string & back trolley alignment that’s got Cathareene running like she did back when the decade turned.
Don’t tell me we Believers make our trips and live our lives alone. The God we serve is Big “G”: a Provider, Producer, Healer, Deliverer, Husband, Father, Friend. And He knows the best mechanic this, or any, side of ‘everywhere’ and exactly how to get us there.
I’ve gotta keep encouraging myself to trust Him for that. We all do. It’s the chiefest of our journeys and we can only make it light. And it’s so worth the thousand pounds of fear we must unpack to get there because trusting in God makes everywhere home.