TITLE: A Two Hour Tour 7/16/15
By Francie Snell
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I shifted down to third gear as I approached the turn. The motor purred quietly as the little car glided over the smooth pavement. I veered sharply to the right, up and around, then gracefully dipping down through another turn to the left. Large luxurious homes, appearing like small castles, sat high on hilltops, while others, more discreet, nestled lower on the slopes amongst trees of Oak, Pine, and Manzanita. They caught my attention as I drove past. I glanced for a moment, and then focused quickly back on the winding road. Only ten minutes to go, but my mind was already there. The meandering passage through the rolling hills would take me to another place in time.
Inside my bag, lying on the passenger seat beside me was a Bible and notebook. I felt prepared for the trek, a 2-hour tour through the Holy Land with Kathy as our Tour Guide… a Biblical historian extraordinaire.
Our group was growing and now more than twelve women would be there waiting. It would be our getaway together from everyday life and something I always looked forward to… like a mini vacation. None of us would dare miss these excursions unless we had no choice. Health reasons, medical necessity, or being out of town, seemed the only things that could hinder any of us. With eager anticipation, we would sit together waiting to begin our travels for the day.
Like drawing back the curtains in a theater, Kathy would begin the scene with vivid descriptions explaining the time, the setting, and the social dynamics of that day. We will step back in time with sandals on our feet and walk through the hot dessert with the smell of dust rising in the air. We will enter the Promised Land and meet characters of renown. They will come to life before us as we see them at their best, and at their worst, leaving nothing to hide. I feel empathy for them. They're human just like me. Living thousands of years apart, yet, we share the same Father and Savior. I am curious and want to ask them certain questions, but those will have to wait. We'll have plenty of time to talk someday, but for now, I appreciate what I glean from them through the Scriptures, precious lessons to carry through my life.
I arrived at Kathy's on time. As I entered the front door, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee welcomed me and led me to the kitchen. I grabbed a clean cup off the counter as the sounds of friendly chatter emanated from the next room.
Hello in there," I called out as caffeine filled my cup.
Cheerful voices called out in return. "Hi, how are you?"
As always, we all seemed happy to be there… our refuge.
I walked down the three steps from the kitchen and into the living room where they all sat, then plopped down on the couch and let out a deep breath. I smiled at my sisters around me, and then eyed the goodies set upon the coffee table in front of us.
"Okay, I think everyone is here now so let's start," Kathy said. "Cindy, can you lead us in opening prayer?"
We all bowed our heads as she spoke a heartfelt prayer to our Father. With heightened awareness I realized once again how fortunate I was to be there. When the prayer ended, Kathy passed out small piles of paperwork to each one of us, the study she had carefully prepared for the week, a labor of sincere love. I felt she had given me a special gift.
"Ok, everyone has this weeks' study," she confirmed. We all nodded.
As one woman started reading, we embarked on another wondrous journey, in our minds and in our hearts, to another place and time, a short road trip that would profoundly change us all.
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