by Pastor Tim Burt
This post was written by my daughter Stephanie who lives on the mission field in Lima Peru with her husband Daniel and my two granddaughters Madeline and Macy. Until last fall, they lived next door to us. They are now on the mission field living in adventures with God. She recently wrote this humorous post.
So, yesterday we became a one car family. No big deal, right? There are lots of people who are one car families. Except that we’re a one car, nine person family.
Our car is very, very special. This is a story-making car. This is the kind of car that when we drive it makes me think, “Why yes, I am a missionary.” If I ever forget, driving over a speed bump in The Red Wonder reminds me very quickly where I am. (And there are many, many speed bumps here. They use them in place of stop signs, I suppose, because they force you to stop. Or not, in my mother-in-law’s case.)
The Red Wonder is a red, giant van with all the middle seats taken out, all the side windows completely covered, manual transmission (except for in fourth gear, which doesn’t work), a broken odometer (my guess is that the odometer just got tired of counting at one point), a broken gas gauge (so we fill up often, just in case) and a horn that honks over and over again on its own every time we make a left turn. (The other drivers really like us. And so do the startled pedestrians.)
And yet my children love this van. They adore it. They beg to drive in it. They love to sit in the back seat (with no seat belts, because those are also broken) and whoop and holler every time we hit a speed bump and it throws them up into the air. They love to wave at people out the back window unashamedly. When there are lots of us in the van – too many to fit on the seats – they volunteer to sit on the wheel bumps. C’mon, who else do you know who has wheel bumps in their car? We are the coolest!! And the kids know it.
When there are just a few of us, they can sit up front with us on the broken seat and have an up high view of the whole jammed up Peruvian road. They love watching Danny struggle to drive our non-power steering giant through the six lines of traffic that are crammed into three lanes. “Whoopee!”
And when we arrive at our destination, they don’t mind waiting with me as we sit, locked in the van, unable to get out until Danny comes over to the passenger’s side and flicks the door handle three times – the magic formula for freeing the lock, and us, from our red cage.
I love my kids’ sense of adventure. I love seeing things through their eyes. On days when we’re driving in that thing and I’m thinking how badly I need to find a chiropractor here because of all the whiplash, I look over and see Macy’s sparkling eyes. I see her ability to find fun and pure joy in an uncomfortable circumstance. And that’s the best part – it’s not uncomfortable to her. She’s having so much fun that she no longer sees the same van that I see.
She sees an adventure waiting to happen. She sees a ride that rivals one at the fair. She sees something beautiful.
Did I mention that we live on the other side of a small mountain? To get into the rest of the city, we have to drive either over the mountain (the short way) or around it (the long way). The Red Wonder just can’t make it up anymore. That’s us, coming round the mountain. But it’s all good, because that’s the scenic route. And my eyes are wide open, ready to see something beautiful. Because as my girls constantly show me, there are a lot of amazing things in life to see. It all depends on how you look at it.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Ppublished by Pastor Tim Burt
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