My current artwork is pen and ink drawings from our Vermont road trip. Colored pencil on notebook paper preserved personal episodes along the way.
To start off our retirement my wife chose Burlington, Vermont as our destination. We drove 300 miles each day. Staying in motels. Both of us took turns driving. We swam in Lake Champlain and indoor motel pools. The couple we met at the Carrollton city pool who were from Chappaqua, New York --- the ones who were returning from Colorado and decided to view the Total Eclipse last August from our village --- we caught up with them at a cafe in Mount Kisco. We drove from Missouri through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York state to Burlington, Vermont.
Jan wanted to experience the "Nourish Vermont" conference held at the Shelburne Farms. We did. She loved every minute of it. My thoughts went into my journal. The trip was a success. We returned from the seventeen day excursion. The 3,600 mile experience together. She thanked me for planning the trip. She noted we did not fight.
We left the Interstate to look for a lake. She held the map. I followed her directions. As we drove here and there the anxiety rose in me. I wondered how long it would take to find this lake. Traffic passed by in the opposite lane. I saw a bright yellow CAR go by. Then regular traffic. Soon a bright yellow PICKUP TRUCK went by. Driving on. When the bright yellow SEMI TRUCK passed by I began to count yellow vehicles. Soon I had counted nine. I had a suspicion someone try to tell me something. Yellow is the colored pencil I use to highlight passages in my prayer journal that I want to remember MOST. We had driven out of a village into the countryside. This did not look like where we needed to be. Where was this lake? Then I saw the barn off the road. Most barns had some kind of embellishment painted on its side. On this barn was a circle with a large letter "K." My first name starts with the letter K. I recognized that the Lord was using the bright yellow cars and this large K to reassure me, that He was with me, present, and that this wild goose chase was going to be Okay. He was here right now to lead my wife and I to our destination. The way He does His thing to help me out, to calm my heart, in the middle of THIS. We found the lake. We enjoyed moving through warm and cold pockets of water.
Back on the Interstate I was reading from Luhrmann's book. Jan was driving. Luhrmann was discussing when the Lord speaks to our minds, it is both our thoughts in our mind but it is also something that we weren't thinking about. It comes suddenly, easily, and gently. And His words encourage and give me support. I like to think of it as an ambush. Or, that He redirects what I am thinking about, so that I become aware of His presence, and He brings me peace of mind. And with these incoming thoughts I feel loved and cared for, and I know I belong to Him. It is an amazing thing.
So as I am meditating on this, my wife reads the words off the license plate that just passed by. She says, "NEW LIFE." I look up from the book, I look at her, and ask: "What did you say?" She repeats the words NEW LIFE. It dawns on me the Lord is in this moment, breaking in to my reading just the way Luhrmann sez He does. I'm astonished and my body tingles. It is so cool. This episode will later be written in my prayer journal. Sunday May 27, 2018. Richmond, Indiana.
Still later, I am driving and ahead is an overpass. Underneath the metal girding is not a dull grey or a lifeless green, no, it is bright yellow. I pass under 1 - 2 - 3 yellow overpasses. One of my favorite numbers is 3. Three yellow overpasses. I laugh. I tell Jan about it. We chuckle. The Lord has gone out of His way - to line this all up for me -- to know that I am His. That He thinks about me. And that this trip is going to work out.
[Tanya Luhrmann book, 2012, When God Talks Back]