I LOVE vacations! Typically my wife and I will share our vacation with a friend or two, maybe even some close relatives, or in the case of our epic adventures in Hawaii, we share with both genres..friends AND family. About fifteen of us on a cruise ship terrorizing…um, I mean sailing… around four of the islands on a seven day cruise. However…that is another story…
For this episode of IFN we are going to a place that totally blew me away; Yellowstone National Park. Oh,Yeah!
Walking around Old Faithful waiting for the inevitable rush of water and steam to blast into the sky…finding out that we were standing on top of the world’s largest active volcano…now that is living on the edge (not to mention a little unsettling and most creepy)! But enough of all that…I have a story to tell…
Okay, here’s the setup; we stayed in a town called West Yellowstone and for three days made the half hour drive into the park, making our way to a rest stop just inside the park and, each day, used the facilities before we continued into the grandeur of Yellowstone. Now, this rest area was just off the main road with one of many crystal clear rivers running freely alongside the rear of the building…very peaceful and serene.
On one particular morning we had stopped and were going about our business and I had finished inside and came outside to wait for the remaining members of my miniature motley crew. Leaning upon our rented van, I was still waiting as a young lady came by walking an extremely beautiful-and very large-dog. Being a dog lover, I said “Good morning, that is a beautiful dog you have there!” To which she replied, “Thanks, her name is Abbey and she is fourteen years old!” We exchanged a few more pleasantries and she made her way past me on down the path toward the river.
As she disappeared from sight, my brother-in-law finally made his appearance and so we both waited together for the women-folk…and waited…and waited some more…not too (terribly) long after this, I looked down the path and, low and behold, a man was walking our way with…the dog I had just met.
Never one to miss a little fun, I waited for the man to get within ear-shot of me and I said to my brother-in-law, “See that dog? Her name is Abbey and she is fourteen years old.”
“How do you know that?” Came the expected, albeit shocked, question from the man.
“Sir,” I said, “I am a Christian, and God told me that information about your dog.” My sister’s husband standing next to me started staring at the ground just shaking his head, smiling from ear to ear.
That poor man’s eyes got about as big as any human eyes could have ever gotten without actually falling out of his head. I waited only a few seconds (after all, timing really is everything) and said, laughing, “I’m sorry, I’m just messin’ with ya…your wife just passed by here a few minutes ago and I asked her about your dog.” Then, holding out my hand I said, “My names Henry…”
We talked for about ten or fifteen minutes, getting to know a little about each other. Turns out he was a firefighter from L.A. and was at the park on vacation. And…we had a good laugh.
But you know what? Without ‘preaching’ I made a friend that day and let him know to Whom I belong.
I seriously doubt he will ever forget the ‘Close Encounter of the Insane Kind’ that he had in Yellowstone on that beautiful July morning, but more importantly, he will always remember talking with a Christian who loves Jesus and wasn’t afraid to share that love.
Insane Faith? Maybe.
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