“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Location: United States

A person God turned around many times.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Escape for my life

I tool along Rt. 211. The city boasts itself behind me; God’s country lies before me. I have made my way through Warrenton, the western outpost of Washingtonian civilization. In my youth, this was small town U.S.A. Now it flaunts all the signs that it has come of age. Earth ripped up and dozed down. Shopping centers rise from the dust with all the latest look of 21st century avant-garde.

With great relief, my memory of the city vanishes and my eyes fall on the scenery before me. Fields of tall grass line the road, and large trees explode with branches and greenery, and tower into the sky in the neglected grassy median between the highway lanes. In random, assymetrical beauty all of their own, the trees are designed to most efficiently absorb every ray of life from the sun. In their ignorance to perfect proportion like those trees without any obstruction to sunlight, they have a funny charm, a delightfulness, anyway.

Since most people drive Interstate 66 anymore, that leaves the smaller highway to me, and practically me alone. So I slow down to 25 or 30 mph so I can take in all that God has given me this day; I can smell the smells and hear the sounds, even the quiet ones. This has become my tradition for the past 2 years when I come out this way. I put on my emergency blinkers when I see a car approaching; but otherwise, I want nothing to destroy the show my Maker has prepared just for me.

Oh! There’s that sound I never hear in the city—crickets whistling Dixie in the knee-high grass next to the highway. I know I’m home now. I sing along in the symphony, Chirp! Chirp!... Chirp! Chirp! What a sound to cure my home-sick bones! My blood pressure drops as I listen; well-being pours over my soul. My cup runneth over. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Cricket, and thank You, Lord of Heaven and Creator of the ends of the Earth.

Rotting mats of grass, damp with heavy dew, waft whiffs of wildness into my car, into my nose, and into my mind. I immediately remember part of the verse in Moses’ song, “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.” (Deut. 32:1-3).

“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In His days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.” (Ps. 72:5-7).

A lone sycamore pirouettes slowly as I pass. Again and again I see these almost-humans perform their graceful spin, just for me. If on my left hand side, they twirl clockwise; if on my right, counter-clockwise. No matter how lonely in a cowless pasture, no matter how distant on a far hill, never do they fail me. And never do I fail to appreciate their performances.

A cardinal jets across the highway. He must have been moving faster than I. He had one thing in mind—that tree, yonder. Yellow, white, and brown little butterflies flit from flower to flower to flower. What’s on your mind, little fellows? A penny for your thoughts!

A mocking bird chases a flapping black bird for half a mile. Higher and higher they go, the catbird maintaining the altitude advantage. All the big bird wanted was an egg for breakfast. Not if Mother knows about it. Big bird better leave if he doesn’t want his noggin scrambled. So off they fly like an F-16 escorting a returning space shuttle.

Stones piled into walls make the farm scenes idyllic. Begotten from centuries of plowing these mountain foothills, there wasn’t a better place to put those rocks. Old and rugged, sometimes rotting, split rail fences stand royal guard around fields of grain and other growing produce.

Up and down I go, as the highway follows its own sinusoidal path. Sometimes I am higher than the fields, sometimes they are above me. It’s a home-grown roller coaster ride, a little mesmerizing but peaceful and perfectly wholesome.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

“O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches.” (Ps. 104:24).

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Is. 55:12).


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