I have a sort of dilemma on this trip. I'm only partly the outdoorsy type. I love hiking and being outside. I love spotting plants and flowers unique to the area we're exploring. I love the breezes that cool my skin. When I'm outside I feel free from the everyday cares that never cease. But because I'm only partly outdoorsy, the girly part of me really doesn't like the wild side of the outdoors. I find myself looking and listening for movement in the brush where snakes might be. Breezes are great, winds are not - they make me growl. I really dislike wearing sunscreen and bug spray, but I dislike sunburns and mosquito bites more. So I wear it.
Honestly, living on the road doesn't bother me, but having to keep a constant eye out for spiders and bugs as I enter the women's room kills me.
I love cooking over the fire, but I can never understand how in this whole wide world of tasty things that flies can find, an entire army of them have to find my minuscule plate of food. Our car is a daily puzzle that we get to put together so that everything fits just right.
Playing in the water is one of my most favorite things to do, only not when little fish are nipping at my legs! As you can see they don't bother David at all.
I wish I were more like him.
Other dilemmas for me are the differences between what I imagine something is going to be, and the reality of it. Like getting all excited to visit a city only to find that there are very few remnants of what its previous glory days may have been. Or planning for play in the river and finding out that Texas has been in a drought and there are no shallow pools and waters running over the rock, and that it looks nothing like it did in the picture on the internet as I was
searching it out.
And then there are dilemmas that leave impressions on your heart and create such unexpected joy that you are never the same afterward.
This is Pedro, the townspeople call him Nacho.
He gives gas to travelers who don't realize that the next gas station isn't for another hundred and twenty miles - like us. Funny, we passed the unbeknownst to us, last gas station and began looking for the next exit because we were getting low. The next exit didn't come, and forty miles down the road the red light came on. Panic and prayers set in as we looked on the map for tiny dots of towns, each dot turning up to be nothing more than that - a dot. Sheffield was about five miles off the road, but as we had no other choice, we decided we had to try. Sure enough it was an actual town with a gas station. But as it was Sunday, it was closed. Since it was such a tiny town we figured if we just knocked on a door we could figure out who owned the station and beg him to open for us. So David asked the guy standing out by his truck. He pointed us down the street to Nacho, who did not own the gas station, but happily pulled out his own five-gallon tank and began filling up our car. He's from Mexico and he and David visited in Spanish for at least forty-five minutes.
He proudly showed us his little goat farm and when all was said and done he refused to let David pay for our gas. He said he likes to help people out and this is his way of doing so.
So we thanked him for his kindness and headed on our way.
No sooner did we get back on the freeway than we saw a kid walking on the side of the road - his car a few hundred yards back. We figured since he was walking he must really need some help so we stopped. He had a blown tire, and again, since it was Sunday and we were a hundred miles from anything he had no way of getting it towed and fixed except to pay outrageous amounts of money which it was quite clear he and his girlfriend did not have. The string of events that followed go like this: figure out how to get our own spare out from under our car, take his tire off and put it into our car, put our spare on, let the car down and find out that our spare is flat, jack the car back up and take the tire off, drive into Sheffield again to find someone who can pump the tire up and follow Raoul who is riding his bike down the middle of the road to Jeff who pumps up the tire for us, head back to the car, put the tire back on and begin driving at the breakneck speed of 45 miles an hour down the freeway, watch the tire wobble profusely, shoo them off the road to put the tire on for a third time (our tire didn't fit their car exactly but we got it), and then drive the eighty miles to the next town with a tire shop at a snails pace. When all was said and done, big hugs and thank you's given, it was ten o'clock, and David and I couldn't help but see the comparison.
We're all stuck on the freeway, none of us can afford the price it costs, and while there are obstacles and setbacks, there is One who stands by our side until the task is finished and the price is paid and we are made whole.
Tabitha called me yesterday morning to let me know that the car had been fixed, that they had finally passed the Texas border into New Mexico, and that she knew that God had put us in their path to help them out.
Thank you sweet Pedro for being so kind and softening our hearts so that we ourselves could be open to the Spirit of charity and goodness.