The fog was so thick, I couldn’t see the white line. But that line meant the difference between the road and a rock-spiked mountain side. So, I strained. I lurched forward. All in an effort to see. And when the fog lifted, the car and I had fallen through the mist onto solid pavement, framed by ramp-covered mountains to my right, and a gray-air vertical wall fringed with a silver-lined guardrail to my left. And a 9% grade going down…
And down, down, down…until all around leveled off in a bucolic green meadow-land punctuated by an unsightly convenience store. The latter flashed an open sign, the first in over an hour. With that in mind, I stopped, wobbled out of the vehicle, and caught two locals fussing over a carb-laced breakfast from dairy Queen, miles down the mountain.
It came in a styrophoam container, but the smell filled the whole convenience store. Fried potatoes, ham, some kind of sprinkled cheese, and God only knows what else.
And there he stood, an older man, smiling with every tooth left, watching her peek in at it, like a mother in a neonatal unit. I could have taken my soda pop and walked out for all she cared…but I waited.
What else can you do?
Back in the car, heading down another mountain, I eased into a one-grocery-store town, stopping at light #1. Following the arrows, I turned left into downtown and saw light # 2, or the last light in town. Here at the world’s slowest stop light, I looked out my window only to see a small sign down at the corner of a windowpane in a dilapidated building: I am being restored.
Really? The building has looked the same for many months. I saw nothing to indicate change on the inside, and nothing new on the outside. And then it hit me- my prayer.
All morning, all the night before, all the day before, I had been praying- the same prayer. Steeping in prayer like a teabag in a teacup. Even in the fog, my mind didn’t stray far from the prayer. And here, tucked safely in a place only I might notice, was a sign- “I am being restored.”
The answer to my prayer.