The couple had painstakingly prepared for their Memorial Day getaway. There was the modest budget of $300, the Internet search for the least expensive lodging and the one tank of gas at $2.499 per precious gallon.
Their destination was the Monterey Peninsula and specifically to revisit the Carmel Mission. It was to be a pilgrimage and a promise to themselves and to their loving Heavenly Father in celebration of two lives that combined together to shine brilliantly in their commitment and service to others.
The journey was going as planned. There was the enjoyed splurge at McDonald's, the comfortableness of silence between two hearts intertwined and a conversation of deep love conveyed with just a mere touch.
As the vehicle merged onto Highway 101, there was an excitement that filled the car as the journey neared its end. All of a sudden, like an arrow finding its target, a red Honda Civic appeared in the rear view mirror and slammed into the rear bumper of the vehicle.
Anxiously looking at each other the couple gave a quick visual report that they were okay. Assured that she was fine, the husband exited the vehicle to check on the passengers of the other vehicle in order to determine their well-being after this surprise encounter.
“How are you guys doing? Are you both alright?” They both nodded indicating they were alright. Satisfied with the response, the driver of the offended vehicle turned his attention to the rear bumper. The 2006 Chevy Malibu bumper had been christened with the red paint from the Honda Civic and was dislocated from the body on the left side and cracked on the ride. All in all, not bad considering and a prayer of thanksgiving was whispered thanking God for his care and watchfulness.
The California Highway Patrol was summoned and arrived on the scene within the half hour. The two patrolmen asked for driving and insurance documentation from the drivers. Satisfied with the offerings they took the statements from the drivers and with a wish for a good day they were off on their patrol once again like two cavalry scouts on horseback disguised as motorcycles.
With a friendly wave of the hand the driver of the Honda continued on his journey and soon followed by the pilgrimage couple who had experienced a traumatic delay. The remainder of the journey had darkened and a gloom seemed to veil the couple and damper their spirit.
That night they rested and the following morning found them equally as despondent. However, they were determined to reach journey’s end.
Arriving at the Carmel Mission, they doled out their admission fee and were ushered into another world. That world was the early day mission of the evangelistic thrust to the native population in the California in the early 1700’s.
Absorbing the religious scenes, sensing the dedication of the early day Franciscans and struck by the commitment of the mission and vision of these religious pioneers, the pilgrims sensed the darkness being repelled by the light. Their focus was once again crystallized as they knelt and professed their love for each other and a God whose love burned and compelled.
Before they left, the husband suggested, “Let us light a candle and pray.” Together they lit the candle and placing that single flame lit from another candle into the holder, he began, “Father as we light this candle may it symbolize our love and Your love in us dispelling the darkness around us and bringing joy and light to a dark, dark world. May…”
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