Single Parent Faith

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Perfect South Dakota Snapshot

"Mom, I told you not to go down this road!” In agitated disbelief, my 7 yr old scornfully shook her head.

This was about to turn into a vacation that my daughter would never let me forget.

An avid amateur photographer that I am, I couldn’t resist taking a turn onto an unpaved road for the perfect shot.

Upon casual inspection, one couldn’t help but notice that both right tires sank inches into the pasty grey South Dakota clay.

My daughter couldn’t pass up an opportunity to admonish: “Oh my gosh! What are we going to do, mom!?” Followed with “I told you not to turn down this road! But no, you wanted to take a picture!”

Autopilot mother reassurance escaped “Don’t worry,” before I could sensibly assess the reality. The road is desolate and we’ve only passed two vehicles in the last couple of hrs we’ve driven.

We quietly stared off into the distance in both directions, as we tried not to focus on the sweat beads effortlessly rolling off, adding to the saturated landscape beneath our feet. A few feet away was the scenery that grabbed my attention initially, so I strolled camera in hand and started snapping.

In disbelief, my daughter squawked “Oh my goodness mom! I can’t believe you! We’re stranded and you’re busy taking pictures!”
Badlands, South Dakota

 “Sweety, we’re not going anywhere for a while, so we might as well enjoy the scenery.” 

40 minutes later, quite possibly 40 years- summer heat coupled with anxiety has a way of tricking the mind- A distant faint sound of tires sucking up pasty clay could be heard. Listening intently, one could hear the masculine roar of a well traveled truck, seemingly some thousand miles away.

“Will they see us and stop to help?”

“Sweety, I’m getting in the middle of this road to guarantee they sees us!”

My arms took flight like a propeller on a prop airplane. As the California license plates drew nearer, a wide-eyed 20 yr old guy emerged grinning.

“Thank You God!”  Truth be known, I was a bit fearful for our safety, since we were out there alone and vulnerable.  But God is good, and he sent non-threatening assistance.

The guy got out of his truck and scrambled for some thick nylon rope “It’s a good thing I packed this. I threw it in the back of my truck at the last minute, before leaving home. I had a feeling it would come in handy.”

“I’m so glad you did!”

As he tied the rope to the undercarriage of our rental, I attempted small talk, “You’re a long way from home.”

“I’ve been on the road now for a couple of months, visiting as many national parks as I can. All my friends are getting married and starting to have kids. I’m not ready for that, so I quit my job and decided this is the perfect time to take the trip I’ve always wanted to take.”

“I agree, what perfect timing!”

It didn’t escape me that everything had to be perfectly aligned and set in motion months prior, so that in this exact moment and location, a strong young guy in his truck, carrying strong gauge towing rope, traveling down this particular road- out of all possible roads- would arrive to rescue us.

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8