Well here’s Day No. 1 of a 3-day journey. Day no. 2 and no. 3 episodes about my not so illustrious days on the river flinging flies for football-sized rainbow trout comin’ up the next two Sundays.
So, it’s been an emotional ride this last month (anyone relate?). Three funerals of folks I love, being denied access to visit our hospitalized loved ones, friends being mandated to stay away from church gatherings, reminders of hurts borne by our loved ones via phone calls, texts and emails.
I even deactivated Facebook’s divisive chatting.
Add to it by a call to a widow of five months, I called to see how she was doing and to pray with her. She’s in total isolation, no visitors, including closest family, friends or pastor. Her answer was one simple and sadly chosen word … “lonely!”
I recall well the sounds of separation at cattle brandings, those bellowing calves and their distraught moms. Haunting, excruciating, loud, a protest that something was gravely amiss in their world. After just so much of this, one’s heart gets eroded by being chipped away at while fielding person after person’s heart cries and heartaches, including our own.
I thrive on the solitude of treestands and rushing river waters, big trout, whitetail deer, eagles, ospreys, large white pelicans wielding their landing gears prepped for splashdown, and hearty, trusting prayer.
I prefer to wade.
Off to some of Wyoming’s greatest environment for a time to refill the ebbing mental, emotional and spiritual aquifer buried deep in one’s inner man, alone with God.
Well, welcome to the worst wading conditions of the year.
I love being in the river at day’s end and a gorgeous sunset. This sunset was classic. But, the water was too high for safe wading and the dams were gushing at an unnerving pace. It was no use trying, and I shouldn’t have.
Twice the Bible says there is a way unto man that seems right, but its end is the way of death (Prov 14:12 and 16:25).
I picked the quietest edge I could find. Thick scum and ground-looking grass and twigs lined river’s edge. Turns out if it was wet, (and it was) it wasn’t land. Stepping into it put your leg up to its knee, right now!
Kept my balance.
When leaving the river it was a high-step exit. My knee found shore and I finally crawled out. It’s dark now. Getting to my feet, the next steps were unexpectedly uphill. My shoulders quickly became behind my hips, accompanied by that seemingly hour-long moment of when you realize,
I mean REALLY realize that completely wet was soon to arrive. Quickly back-stepping toward a slow current, thigh-deep river, in competitive-divers’ terms it would carry the lowest degree of difficulty.
My entry was what I now describe as a “back-smacker”, worthy of no style points whatsoever. Whew! No judges, no cameras. However, it would likely have scored very high on Funniest Home Videos.
Just before splashdown I’m thinking (rapidly), this is going to be VERY uncomfortable, and I was absolutely right about that.
“Skunked,” no fish.
Not the “refreshing” I had in mind.
After my initial moments of great disgust, throwing my rod on the bank and calling myself “Idiot,” composure slowly oozed inward and laughter would replace my gasp, shock and disgust. It happened…deal with it. Next week’s column Day #2: “Pick ‘er clean!”
PRAYER NUGGET: This great truth and invitation to prayer: “Now to Him who is able to KEEP YOU FROM FALLING and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through JESUS Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 24, 25) Disasters needn’t always include falls!
Nebraska Panhandle and eastern Wyoming I love you and am praying for you!
.All Bible references are from the NKJV
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