Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday With a Stranger

Yesterday I packed up my camera and my Bible and headed out to take pictures for this week's focused on Glory post. I figured if I was seeking God's glory, the first place to look was in His Word. We had a sweet visit with each other, and I set off. I had asked God to show me His glory, and not just for that afternoon. In fact, this project is prodding a desire to dig deeper into the glory of God, and I'm just a little bit excited about that.

I decided to drive down a rural road I've never taken before. After several minutes, a sign indicated it would dead-end. It was a long dead-end, so I eventually turned around. Within seconds I saw something amazing. Something I had just passed.

Sitting inside a white horse fence, in the middle of a pasture, was a stunning, majestic tree. It was glorious indeed.

Now I have long been a lover of trees. Take a road trip with me and you'll hear, "Oh! That's a great tree," from time to time. I think trees are beautiful. They are magnificent creations, and I love how they spread their limbs as if they are trying to catch glory from above.

The tree I spotted wasn't alone, but it was certainly the aristocrat of the field. I contemplated taking a picture from the road near the fence, but I noticed someone walking on the other side of the pasture. So instead of trespassing like a creeper, I decided to ask for permission to shoot my pictures.

I pulled into the driveway just as the older gentleman was sitting down in his carport. He was keeping an eye on a burn barrel nearby. He was also eying me as I got out of my car. I walked up and asked if he would mind me taking pictures of his tree. He nodded. "Sure, sure. Go ahead." He pointed, "The gate is just past there." I grabbed my camera and took off, making sure to watch my step. (Come back Tuesday to see the shots I got.)

One thing is for sure. The next time I go out to capture a glimpse of God's glory, I'll be sure to throw my hiking boots in the trunk. Yesterday wasn't exactly perfect for my adorable pink and grey Nikes (made even cuter by the FAB deal I got on them).

As I was traversing the mine field, er- pasture, I noticed the owner had decided to walk over. He leaned on the gate to watch me, and we began a conversation. It was a loud conversation, as it had to travel the field. He told that he too loved the tree, and how there had been two more like it at one time. His story was peppered with bits of juicy gossip of how a neighbor had the road commission remove the other two during a dispute around 40 years ago.

As I was walking back, I asked about the unseen horses that must occupy the field. The gentleman told me he had four horses out back. He waved me toward the gate and said, "Let's go get some feed and see if we can't get them to come around."

I smiled.

We walked back to the carport, and I asked him his name. He whipped a business card from his pocket and presented it to me with an introduction. It turns out he is the retired owner of a long established business. I commented on the John Wayne images hanging on the wall of the carport and he said, "Well you need to come inside. It's a veritable showcase in there." Just then his wife came out and introduced herself. I explained the reason I had stopped, and told her about the purpose of the pictures.

Mr. R. ushered me into the room addition between the kitchen and carport. It had been made into a cozy den. Think man cave for a 70 something John Wayne fan. I have to say it was pretty sweet, and my daddy would have loved it (especially the large flat screen). I also got to meet Debbie, the dachshund. (smile)

We headed out to the back pasture with the feed and a jar full of dog food. After dumping the feed in the trough, Mr. R hurled the dog food in a substantial pond. He sat in one of three mismatched lawn chairs at the edge of the water, slumped down, and stretched out one leg. 

"It's too cold. The catfish have gone to the bottom, but maybe the bream will bite."

I sat down and aimed my camera at the water, waiting for the ripples. I so wanted to take a picture of my host, but it didn't seem appropriate to ask. The ripples from the food pellets were dying away just as the fish came to munch.

What a treat. Along the back of the pond the water was smooth and solid, with perfect reflections. Near us were soft, overlapping circles. There was a pleasant liquid plop each time the surface broke and created a new wave. Such a sweet place.

The horses strolled to the trough behind us, and we went to join them. There were three "normal" horses and one smaller variety. I guess it was a miniature. I got a few shots of the horses eating, but couldn't get many great shots because they moved too much. Horses don't listen if you ask them to stay still. The little one walked up to me and actually sniffed my camera. That made me giggle. Then he put his face up to mine about 5 inches away, and kept it there for several seconds. We were the same height. I bet it was pretty comical.

Pretty soon the horses realized we didn't have anymore feed, got bored, and wandered away. I thanked Mr. R for the delightful time and we made our way back to the house. We chatted and shared a bit of our stories with each other until we reached the back gate. I said goodbye and drove away smiling.

I had asked God to show me His glory, and wow. He definitely gave me a glimpse, but He didn't give me a picture. He gave me an encounter. 


Jennifer said...

What a wonderful day! Wish I had been with you (I almost feel like I was! :)) Had to laugh when you were talking about the mancave for the John Wayne fan...before you mentioned your dad, I thought, "Sounds like Woody would have loved it!" :) I cannot wait to see your photos!!!!! Not sure I'm going to make it till Tuesday...;-)

Kecia said...

What a gift! I miss out on so much when I hesitate to talk to people. You inspire me.

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