The Miracle: Road Trip stories

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One thing that has always been on my “bucket list” is to see a whale. I lived half my life in California and much time on the Pacific coast and I have also spend much of my “Arizona” time on vacations at the beach, San Diego and all along the Pacific coast. I even went on a cruise where they almost guaranteed that I would see whales cavorting right off the ship. It was comical, Elaine told me later as she sat and watched the whale fanatics move across the ship in one collective pod every time someone shouted, “Whale, starboard” or “Whale, port-side!”

Of course the ship captain said, “I don’t know why we aren’t seeing any, last week we saw them all over the place.” I can tell them why, Lori wasn’t on that ship. It’s gotten to be a joke everywhere we go, that I have just missed the biggest migration ever seen.

During the coarse of the trip Elaine said that all that would be needed to make this trip perfect is to see a whale. I rolled my eyes and said, “Well, we all know that won’t happen, they know I will be watching.”

Even so, between navigating and everything else, I had my eyes peeled the entire trip. Finally, off the coast of California, it happened. We had been watching what looked like a whale watching boat when we came around a bend with an impossibly huge and sweeping view of the Pacific when Elaine gasped and said, “I think I see a whale spouting!” I screamed, “Where…..where??” Then I saw it too. As she frantically looked for a place to pull over, she said, “Where are the binoculars?”

Now, the binoculars had been the same place the entire trip. On my side of the car in the door. As I fished around in there, I couldn’t find them. In the meantime, pulled over, she saw it again and again. As I tossed things here and there, up in the air in the backseat and front, I saw my dream start to swim away…….as we both searched with gradually escalating voices for the elusive binoculars, “They’ve been there the entire trip,” she said, a bit frustrated now.

Finally I grabbed my camera and focused on the spot where we saw it. It spouted again!

It was then that she then went around to the passenger side and proceeded to take them out from where they had been the entire time.  Meanwhile, the miracle was swimming out to sea, but not before we got a good view of the grand spectacle of nature that I have always wanted to see.

Yes, I guess you could say it was a perfect trip.

And no, this picture isn’t one I took, the whale was a bit further out, but this is what it would have looked like had we been closer.

 

Why written words will never go away……

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I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”

I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.”

Over and over again, Paul especially, stresses the importance of writing this “with his own hand.” At times others would take down the message, but when Paul wanted to emphasize something he said this. It was his way of saying, “Pay attention, I want to you to see how important this is to me.”

When we get something handwritten it’s almost like we get a piece of that person, almost as if they leave a bit of themselves behind with the ink on the page. When I want to keep someone close, I tuck something they’ve written in my wallet. Even now I have some folded notes and little drawings I have held onto for years. My wallet is fat, but not with folded money, with other kinds of treasures.

And today I was given a special journal, an unexpected gift to go along with us on our journey. Elaine said, “This had your name on it.” as she held it out, smiling. I will keep it and scribble notes in it and maybe someday years from now someone will find it and wonder whose it was.

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Tomorrow, we will go on a long-expected road trip. We will drive for miles and miles. We will sing out loud with the radio across several states and we’ll stop where we want. It will be a grand adventure and I thank God for the opportunity. And in my purse, there are four people I hold dear who will come with me because right now I am holding them all close in prayer. I need part of them near me, with me on this journey.

Because what’s written on those pages I carry is part of them, and part of me too.

That’s why what’s written will never go away.

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