We were determined to get to the dock in time to meet the ferry back to Leland. We were all dreaming of hot coffee, hot food, hot showers, soft beds and flush toilets. None of us wanted to be on the Island another hour. Our adventure had melted down because of an injury. It became a matter of survival. We all knew North Manitou Island would be a good memory, but right now we were ready for civilization.
We spent all day slowly limping around the north end of the island and made camp just before the lightning flashed and the thunder rumbled and the rain came. I lay in the tent praying. I thanked God that He answered my desperate prayer from the night before, that I would be able to get to the dock in time for the ferry. We knew we were within an hour and a half of steady hiking from the dock. We would make it. I prayed that the tent would hold off the rain.
Dan and Wes prayed. Wesley’s prayer was especially memorable. It went like this; “Lord, thank you for this day. I’m glad it’s over.”
The tent was hastily pitched over a fallen tree. To sleep required creativity, but we were weary and the the rhythm of the rain and thunder lulled us all into slumber. Sometime in the night the rain stopped and the wind began to blow. In our haste to make camp we had not secured the rain-fly. It blew off in the night and we were all to weary to replace it until it became too cold to sleep.
Dan and Wes were sharing a sleeping bag because one of the bags was saturated with water (another story for another time). Dan got out of the warmth of the bag to re-attach the rain-fly. I sat up and looked out into the night.
Our tent was on a point jutting out into the lake. Fresh steady wind blew over the site. Around us was the shining lake and above us a universe of stars in the dark sky. Almost everything about the trip had gone wrong but I was surrounded by strong, kind, loyal sons and God was in his heaven. The stars were all in place and I knew I would cherish the memory of this scene for a long time.
Even in a very dark night after a very hard season, God is in His heaven and he has promised one day to make right everything that is wrong in the world. When the walk seems impossible try to surround yourself with a few strong, loving, loyal people and get out to where you can see the night sky and the shining lake.
Some days you just have to lie down and pray, “Lord, thank you for this day. I’m glad it’s over.”
July 23, 2013