God Laughs at Moments Like These.
Some nights are adventures filled with twists and turns that make you think God is getting a good laugh out of what keeps running into your path. Last night was one of those nights. The five of us on night shift left the RV park after an amazing dinner (Cliff is a beast cook) and headed off to where day shift had left us. The first shift of Matt and myself (Jessica) started like any other. We had a few rather large hills, but we kept praying and continuing on. We were a little surprised by the number of cars that offered us rides, but the most surprising conversation came from a truck filled with people informing us to be extra careful because there was a bear sighting in the area and that mountain lions roamed these mountains. We continued on our way explaining what we were doing to the truck joking about what we would do if we saw a bear thinking there was no way we would ever run into one and that those people were nutty. Just our luck, two minutes later the support van came speeding towards us informing us they saw a bear on the side of the road and we were about to walk straight into his path. For the next 15 miles we made sure to take extra precautions to avoid being mauled by a bear since all we had to defend ourselves was my loud voice and a pocket knife that was lost somewhere in the van.
From there we had run-ins with frightening cows, dogs who thought a game of chase would be fun, and freezing temperatures. Oh yeah that’s right, freezing temperatures. And of course because we are in Arizona, no one brought anything warmer then a sweatshirt and a pork smelling flannel shirt. Father Dan had to walk 8 miles in shorts and his pro-life shirt with the only thing to keep him warm was Cliff’s flannel tied around his neck like a scarf.
But friends, I have not even informed you of the worst part! Poor Matt, who is obsessed with almonds, came to the horrific realization that some unknown walker mixed peanuts in the almonds bag! Yes everyone, peanuts in the almonds bag, the absolute WORST thing that could have happened. For the rest of the night, Matt had to pick peanuts out of his handfuls of almonds. It truly was a Shakespearean tragedy. Matt considered calling it an early night over the traumatizing event ; )
Truly though, God provides. Thankfully while walking there was no bear sightings by the walkers, everyone was able to stay warm even in scarce clothing and 40 degree temperatures, and God provided a beautiful backdrop for us to walk through. But the cherry of the ice cream sundae was the amazing breakfast that was provided for us by the priest at St. Rita’s parish in Show Low. We were able to spend some time in community with wonderful people sharing our stories and hearing theirs. Plus the place we ate at had amazing coffee. What could be better than that after a night of walking?