Open Road Press

Chance Encounter?

July 4, Day 2 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

Pacific OceanI have a lot of time to think while I’m bicycling…and yesterday, as we left Pacific City, Oregon, and the Pacific Ocean for good, I was thinking about friendship and snaps. On our handlebar bags, snaps are the best method of quick access to things we need in a snap. I use them all day long. Snaps are also very helpful on clothes, when it is too difficult to button. Snaps just…well…snap together! They connect and take all the trouble out of struggling with a button and buttonhole.

And, of course, on my bike I was thinking about friends. There are some friendships that develop over time or take a long time to start. There are other friendships that happen right away. They start in a snap. They sometimes remain in a snap, but they very rarely end in a snap.

Thursday night, while Tim and I were at dinner in Pacific City, I kept looking over his shoulder at the open door to the restaurant, admiring the changes in the salmon-colored sky as we waited for our much-needed sustenance (food)! I went outside at the same time as another patron to see the beautiful sunset.

We began talking and hit it off. Instantly, we connected, like a snap! She’s a retired teacher; I am a partly retired teacher. She rides bikes; and I ride bikes. Debbie cycling down switchback-laden Suislaw National ForestWe may never see nor speak with one another again, but in sharing TheHopeLine and our reason for this bike trip, we did make a connection. Thankfully, with the Internet, exchanging emails, and our enthusiasm and passion for young people, she may want to stay connected.

On Independence Day, I had another memorable encounter. Tim and I were biking uphill for quite some time when I spotted a sign for a fruit stand 1,000 yards ahead. I was determined to finish the hill and buy some local cherries. Highway 18 was a busy road, so Tim held my bike as I crossed over to the fruit stand.

While chickens and ponies scurried in their pens, I rushed to see blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, a variety of cherries…along with honey, jam, and packaged snack foods as well. I made a bee line for the cherries. The lovely young lady behind the stand invited me to sample each berry. We struck up a conversation. When I asked if she was in high school, she told me that she attends Pensacola Christian College.

Mt Hood in the background?Was this simply a chance encounter? Not a chance! I had been drawn into a divine appointment. I told her about TheHopeLine. She offered to talk to the president of the college in an effort to help support TheHopeLine’s cause. There are lots of fruit stands where I could have stopped, but that one was meant to be. I was encouraged.

God gives us sparks of encouragement every day, often through encounters with people, but also with the magnificence of His creation. People may think Tim and I are crazy venturing out for our third bike tour, but there is nothing like the wild unknown…and trusting God with all the details.

2 thoughts on “Chance Encounter?

  1. linda fulton

    Beautifully written Debbie. In Gods greatness he so wonderfully orchestrates our everyday encounters!! As His children in His world there are no chance meetings rather he gifts us with the many people we meet as we journey.
    I too was recently blessed at Camp of the Woods with four table mates at the three meals we shared for a week. God knew exactly which four people needed to spend the week sharing laughs,tears and conversation!!! This God given encounter will continue to breathe life into me for days to come!!!

    1. Debbie

      Linda, thanks for your comment! And so good to hear from you. Had another encounter today with a couple of folks- one guy discovered my seat on my bike was too low, which was causing some pain in my knee, and another encounter was with a young girl who works at Camp Harlow- which we got a tour of. Hopefully we will be back on the road tomorrow! In Joy, Debbie

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