It has just been one of those days, you know the ones. They may even start out well, and happy but somewhere they change into something way beyond my “Wild at Heart” kind of day but just truly awful. Today was one of those days. It was a day when my dad and I could have not ever returned home again and to say that is really hard.
We left after an hour of loading up our van for a 2-hour road trip it all started out beautifully. It was a beautiful drive listening to the ‘Screwtape Letters’ on an audiobook with the windows to the van down and me with camera in hand taking pictures of barns (or whatever else flew by my window). Until about halfway there, the car starts making funny noises.
Mr. Cottage pulled over but he didn’t see anything so we continued on our way. We got there and unloaded then decided to go sight-seeing up there while we waited. We chose to visit the Lost River Cave. It was quite beautiful, and then after we left the nice afternoon turned into a nightmare. The car sounded worse by the time we got back in and started driving- the car was shaking.
Deciding that I was going to be smart (or very foolish) I leaned out the window to see if I could figure out what in the world was going on. And I did. The entire tire was weaving back and forth. As I watched the hubcap flew off with a bunch of the lug nuts with it off the side of the road. We were in the middle of cornfields. We turned around and asked if we leave our stuff there while we found someone to fix it.
They said yes and directed us to an auto repair shop (that we never found). Four stops later we found a tiny repair place that said they could fix it, but not today. We were in a very small town, and the man offered to take us to the only car rental place that gave us two choices to rent. A cargo van or a Fiat that looked like a toaster on wheels. The repairman rambled on about the corrupt nature of the city that he was now living in and how murder’s were commonplace (oh wonderful!) I tuned out at this point. I was hot, I felt dusty and dirty, I was tired, scared, angry and I just so much wanted to be home. In a nutshell, I was sick of the whole thing and the whole “almost dying jetting down the freeway with a tire falling off was about too much for me. Much less knowing about the crime networks of a small country town I just had to walk through.
We get the Fiat and ask the lady if she can keep our load from the van until we can come back and pick it up and make the 2 1/2 hr trek back home again. We are both on edge, both sick at our stomachs at our close call and just want to be home. We stop on the way home and pick up a pizza at a place close to our home. I am sitting there while Mr. Cottage goes inside. A lady walks up and starts talking to me. She asks where I am from in FL and I jump not expecting someone to start talking to me in the darkness. I look up and tell her I am not from Florida but this is a rental car. She visibly wilts and tells me she is from Florida and was hoping for a friendly face from her home state. I tell her I just live over the bridge from here, I didn’t bother getting into the long and boring details of the fact I was not born here and where I was from, I just visited this wayfarer and became a friendly face not from Florida to welcome her. Then, just as she began to walk away she did something strange, she stopped and said, “by the way, you look beautiful, you are glowing”. Beautiful? Me? Hot, yes. Sweaty, yes. Bedraggled, yes. But beautiful? No… Then I had to just smile. It was a small blessing, a breath of fresh air to my weary soul. It was a gift from my Father when all I could think about was what just happened to me and how scared I was.
But this lady saw something I could not- felt what I could not.
In Isaiah 49 it says He has us engraved on the palm of His hand. For some reason, this lady’s kind words reminded me that I was His. That no matter how frightened I was He had me and my dad and suddenly I could rest in that.
What are you going through today? Do you need the gentle reminder that you too are engraved in the palm of the Father’s hand? Be encouraged my friend, He loves you. Give Him your cares and burdens.