Yesterday was mostly cross-country.
It was really challenging walking.
The children hadn't seen nettles before...
--but we saw deer prints, and coyote prints...
At one point, the truck left us to go run errands. We were told the way was down a section road --there were telephone poles there. We saw the road, but saw the bulls, too. They were bumping heads while all the cows watched, nervously. When we got closer, we saw that the section road was separate from the pasture, so we took the road. It ended in a gate.... and then it was truly cross country. We walked close to fence lines in case I had to put our bodies on the other side of something...
We walked a couple of miles and the fence line ended in a prairie pond with a dead cow stuck in it... so we followed up the ridge to the south, about a mile (to the next section road) and we crawled under the gate we found there. There was a field of grain on the other side, so I knew we were now safe from bulls and the like. That part was a relief. And because we were coming out on top of a rise, I turned my phone on.
The children were scared. Had been scared. Wanted to turn around. We stopped and talked, swatted mosquitoes and worked out the difference between giving up and turning around because there are no other options. We decided to keep going.
The phone rang. 'Where are you?' 'We are here!' we said, laughing. It had become a joke. I had a little nylon backpack that had "You Are Here" printed on it --and the children didn't understand... now they were beginning to get it.
We continued to the top of the rise. We called again. 'We are here!' The folks in the truck were honking their horn, but we couldn't hear it. We walked to the next rise. We were in a fallow field. And I saw the white flag moving through the fields about two miles north of us. We called on the phone.
It took us a while, but we finally caught up to each other. We kept moving west. Finally hit a county road --after several more fences. We were getting good at helping each other crawl under the fences without getting stuck on the barbed wire.
But one of the kids got sick from eating the meal too quickly. And the other was tired... So, I walked a couple of miles by myself...
I have been amazed at these children... in the past two days, they have walked at least 20 miles with me...
|The walkers and prayers, ages 3, 5 and 10 and well... almost 60.|
The landscape has been awesome. Terrifyingly beautiful. Dangerous.
The prayer has been heartfelt, deep, persistent. Dangerous.
The children spontaneously pray for things I have left unspoken.
The mental and spiritual exhaustion from the work I do here, is being worked out with my body.
Step by step.
I am so grateful.
Giving it to God.
Step by step.
At prayer (Psalm 95:1-7)
Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!
The Lakota word the early translators used for "sheep" is the word the Lakota used for the pronghorn --the antelope.
Hmmmm.... yes. The caverns, the hills, the way the land has been shaped... the pasture.
We are the pronghorn of your hand...
--but-- I am okay without hearing your voice... because doesn't that make one's head explode?!
Off I go.
Hard walking today --about 15 miles, I think --may be more.