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Bighorns 2007 and a Blessing

We actually had some time to take the kids camping in the Bighorns this month. My dad and best friend both came up also and we all made camp together. I think the most striking moment in the whole trip came one night when Abby asked if she could sleep in my friends camper instead of with us in the tent. In the very middle of the night, about 3 am, she woke up frightened and decided she was going to leave the camper. In the mountains there is no light. Nothing but what you see shimmering from the moon. In the inkiest black of night we heard her little whimper outside the tent and unzipped to let her in. She crawled in and went right to her sleeping bag to go to sleep. I got up and stepped out of the tent to find out if she’d shut their trailer door behind her, and literally felt and stretched my way acrossed our camp. I found my way to the door and sure enough it was wide open. I shut it as quietly as I could to keep anyone from waking up, and then turned around into a darkness so thick my eyes could only make out my hand and nothing else. It was pitch dark and the going was a slow creep to get back to the tent. When I finally made it back inside I thought Abby was already asleep, and I said to Kari, “I don’t know how that little girl made it over to the tent. It’s black as can be out there. I can’t believe she didn’t get lost!” Then Abby piped right up, “It wasn’t dark. I just followed the light!” I said, “What light, honey??” “There was a big light. It looked like an ‘M’.” Kari said, “Was it outside or inside?” Abby said, “It was inside. And I just went ‘zoomp’ from the camper to the tent.”

We just sat there dumbfounded. I whispered to Kari, “There is no light.” Abby whispered back, “Ya-huh! I saw it.”

Needless to say there was alot of thankful prayer that night.

I told my dad the next morning, and he said we got very lucky. We were camped right next to a very steep bank that cascaded down the hill into a creek. Abby can’t swim, and just the day before had fallen into that icy water. We were there when it happened and we dove in to scoop her out. She’d have certainly drowned, no question. Dad reminded me that when most little kids get lost, they almost never walk uphill, they always take the easiest path, which would have led her over that embankment and right down into the water, at 3 in the morning. With everyone fast asleep, she’d have fallen right into an icy grave.

What I learned is that my God loves me and cares for my little ones in a way that surpasses understanding, whether I’m on board or not. He is there for each of us, always. When we don’t see God around, at work in our lives, it’s not that He is absent, its ourselves that are AWOL. I wasn’t spiritually focused on this trip… it was a “vacation”. You know, one of those times that you put the brain on hold, unplug, disconnect, recharge. I see it this way…The Maker of Heaven and Earth cared enough to watch over my little 4 year old, at three in the morning, enough to tell one of His Angels to light her path. She’s here with us today by none of our own doing. God kept her in our arms with sheer grace. It’s not about what we do. There is no magical number of rungs to climb to somehow make it to the top. It’s all about Him, and what He did, and the rest is just icing on the cake.

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