We are somewhere in Southern California between the towns of Rosamond and Pear Blossom. The temperature falls from 95 to 58 as we climb from desert into mountain.
A magnificent view halts our progress. It's just too beautiful to pass up. We want to capture it to take it home.
So we grab our cameras and slide out of Otto, snapping away to capture this beauty. I see deep in the valley a neat sight: cattle, grazing.
It's neat because they seem so small.
To my left, a van lugging an impossibly long open-bed trailer pulls up and out spill four giggly, wiggly children along with Mom and Dad, cameras in hand, who also see the need to capture this beauty for later.
I walk over and say to Dad: "Tell the kids if they look real hard, they can see cattle down there."
Dad says to me: "We're from Texas. That won't mean a lot to them."
The little girl, about 10, swirls over to show me how cow smart she is: "Are they longhorns?" she smiles. Then pirouettes away.
That smile is beguiling.
We all keep taking pictures because the magnificent views are breathtaking.
In between picture-taking, child-keeping, protecting and enjoying, I learn a lot about this young family. There are two adults, four kids and two cats packed inside that van. Mom and Dad are both seminary schooled and have been out of work for 10 months before landing a job at a Christian camp on the coast of Oregon.
They've put their lives in God's hands, and trust He has a purpose for them in Oregon. So everything they own is in that trailer (I see four bikes, a broken pitch fork and a plastic yellow bat; tarps cover
everything else). And they're heading north, into a world quite unlike their own.
The sun sinks steadily lower and we all know it's time to go. We exchange names, promises of prayers. And then Mom and Dad collect the kids (including a spirited tiptoeing 3-year-old) and everyone disappears back into the van. As they pull out of the lot, the sun shines on their trailer. And I snap a picture (above).
And then I think "What a magnificent view!" A family. Trusting so completely in God. I'm glad I have that picture, an image of faith.