Friday, October 18, 2013

And there was the bear......I had deliberated on which trail to take my yellow lab, Starbuck yesterday. I wanted to hike to Lost Creek and have a picnic but it was a little off the beaten track. My other option was a road that we call Ski Lodge Road because someone tried to build a ski resort off that road in the 70s. It never made it into a resort. Jon was not at home and so no one would miss us if we did not return. So I chose the more traveled Ski Lodge Road. It should be the safest trek.

I had been taking photos of bear prints up there for about three weeks but was not concerned because the road should not be the typical place to see a bear during that time of day, right? After all I had not seen the bear since seeing the prints. Well, this was my sound reasoning.

So Starbuck and I were on the way back home and had made it down to the curves and the aspen grove. Starbuck had been sniffing the air and acting as if she smelled something different. However she is always alert on that road because of all the deer and elk. But then I saw it and stopped dead in my tracks. Just below us standing up on its hind feet was a black bear right in the open, right in front of an aspen. It was between me and my way home. Suddenly Starbuck spotted it. She began barking like a wild thing. I was clinging to her leash (thankfully on a short lead) to keep her from getting away from me or dragging me toward the bear. Her barking got the bear's attention and it dropped on all fours and ran into the trees. Because it was running away from us I was able to appreciate its beauty. Only one little problem. The bear ran in the trees in the direction we had to go to get to the Bob Marley jeep (my jeep).

Well, since I am writing this you know we made it safely back. However I made the rest of our journey looking to the right and to the left and up because bears can climb trees! In last year's tradition of naming the bears I saw, I named this bear as well. I called it JB (Joy's Bear) because my friend, Joy lives on Ski Lodge Road. It is my hope that JB escapes the hunters who are out en masse! Praise God for watching over us as we walked on the "safer" trail!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nomad......It occurred to me over the last few weeks that I am a nomad. Since I was 18 and left for college I have been a wanderer. God has taken me from place to place through Jon's ministry in the Air Force and now his pastorate in Marble, Colorado; the village at the end of the road.....Wow! We have moved every 2-3 years. I am like one of those Bedouin tribes who still roam from place to place. I am like the shepherds who wander from green pasture to green pasture. I am like the Native Americans who followed the buffalo and found winter camps sheltered from high plains wind. The wonders that I have seen and the people that I have met are a precious gift from my Maker. Yet God has over and over called me through Jon's ministry to leave those gifts behind to go to another place.

It is difficult to be a nomad when family is scattered all over and when those we love suffer. We nomads cry tears in silent places and pray prayers in sheltered places. We walk out our front doors to be with the people God has called us to love and we love them. Yet our hearts are full for those far away who cry because of the journey that life is taking them on.

So as a nomad, a wanderer, God has brought me to this place high in the mountains that lies at the end of the road. Its beauty and peacefulness has thrilled my soul in ways that I cannot express in words! It offers many silent places to cry and many shelterd places to pray. It offers peaks in which I have automatically shouted out Halleluia or simply sang the doxology,"Praise God from whom all blessings flow....." Yet I asked God as a nomad, do I have a "place"? The Still Small Voice spoke and said "your place is in Me." My place is Jesus. My home is Jesus. I have a place.

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country---a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11: 13-16