A Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO PRAY
The advice was the same from every reputable source: don’t travel.
Weather.com said it. Transportation departments throughout the
But Joe Jr. had to. He really had no choice. He and his family were here for his big sister AmyJo’s wedding (welcome to the family, Brock!) but they had to get back to school and work commitments on the other side of the country. “Don’t travel” was not on their list of options. The only real choice they had was which of three interstate routes to take.
So they picked the southern route (which seemed to have the fewest number of “don’t travels” associated with it) and loaded up their minivan with fuel, maps and Diet Dr Pepper. A few minutes after AmyJo and Brock said “I do” Joe and Jen and their three little girls took off in an anxious attempt to beat the predicted winter storm across the country.
The ice storms caught up to them about the time
they were driving through the
“The good news is you’re in the middle of the lead story on the Weather Channel,” I told Jen via cell phone during the trip. “The bad news is . . . well . . . you’re in the middle of the lead story on the Weather Channel.”
A little later I talked to Joe during a fuel stop
“I don’t know what to do,” he confessed, his voice edged with white-knuckled tension. “Should I hunker down at the next motel and wait it out? Or should I try to get through this?”
Thankfully computer technology allowed me to counsel him based on weather radar, road reports and . . . you know . . . Madam Helga. They pushed ahead, mile by icy mile, until they stopped for the night. Refreshed, they continued battling the elements through the next morning, and by they were cruising along at 65 miles per hour on the other side of the storm.
I’m sure you can imagine how relieved I was when
they finally made it home safely. As ice
storms continued to blow across
“I know how you feel,” he said. “That’s how I felt when my son was in
Suddenly I had new appreciation for what Mike had experienced during the year his son fulfilled his military duty in a war zone. Only his son had no family with him. And he was gone for a year. And other people were trying to kill him. And Mike couldn’t get on the phone and use the computer to guide him to safety. Other than that, it was exactly the same. Sort of.
OK, so maybe my experience was completely different from Mike’s. But those two harrowing days did give me a little taste of what it must be like for the families of our fighting men and women – not to mention the families of our police officers and fire fighters – who must listen daily to frightening news reports while they wait and wonder and pray.
Which, come to think of it, seems like a good idea: prayer. Now more than ever we need to pray for peace, in the world and in our communities, and to pray for the safety and well-being of those who fight in our behalf on both fronts. But we also need to remember their loved ones back home, who have little choice but the waiting, the wondering and the praying.
With or without advice from Madam Helga.
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Look for Joe's book, "How Can You Mend a Broken Spleen? Home Remedies for an Ailing World." It is available on-line through www.Amazon.com.