Along the way Autumn 2014
We meandered through the desert, and on into New Mexico. A sunset shower and a rainbow through the darkening sky offered promise of a brighter future. I was dubious and uncertain. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why I had been promised the desert, and then why I had failed the speaking exam, and why I had to leave. I was sure I was supposed to be in Arizona. This departure felt like I was a failure, and that didn’t suit.
Traveling ancient roads with three dogs – wait, four dogs, Mae, Nala, Freckles, Hannah – who understand but do not speak English gives a person ample time to contemplate their universe. I sought answers through prayer, and scripture. I know I can speak Spanish. I’ve been studying, and speaking, for years. Why freeze up during the certification exam? And not just once, but twice? I routed around the Bible. Jesus instructed his disciples to not worry about what they should say. When the time was right, He would give them the words. Gee, thanks, Jesus. All I got was Silence and some stuttering.
I kept looking.
There is more than one story in there about Silence. I read about Elizabeth’s husband, the priest who went silent upon hearing about Jesus’ pending birth. I read about Jonah, who wasn’t exactly silent, but it’s kind of hard to be heard from inside the belly of a whale. Even Jesus went silent when he was before the High Priest the night before his crucifixion. So, maybe I had something in common with people greater than I am. Things to consider.
But if the Silence was from God, what was I supposed to be doing now?
About two thousand miles and several rest stops later, I figured it out: a woman traveling across country with four dogs is a conversation starter. So, at every rest stop, at every meal stop, at every gas stop, I had an opportunity to share my experiences, and to ask the stranger before me to continue to pray for the Apache, the dogs, and our journey. One man, in particular, perked up when I began to share our story. I got the impression he was a man who knew a thing or two, as he asked specific questions, and for names and locations. One continues to pray. You never know who it is you’re speaking with, or why it is you are called to go – and to come again.