Last year at Yosemite Summit, I lost my journal. On the very last day as we were doing a final group photo I had set it down on the ground while working with the camera on a tripod. Then a nice stranger offered to take the picture for us, so I ran to get in the picture. Afterward, he walked toward us to return the camera and I forgot I had set down on my journal. I have written in this journal for the past 10 years on every visit to Yosemite, so you can imagine there is a lot of sentimental value in that one book. I did not notice it missing until it was too late. I registered it missing with the park’s lost and found service, which usually only makes you feel better, but rarely brings results. I prayed for a miracle.
My Miracle came in a man named John, who found my journal. He called the phone number inside, but because I completely unplugged for the entire week, my voicemail was full. He resorted to email. We did not connect until after I was back home in Colorado. KHe kndly mailed me the journal, and said the only reward he wanted for finding and returning it was to meet me in person. He lives near Sacramento where we fly in every year. So we planned to connect this year on my 11th annual Summit to Yosemite. Yesterday, I got to meet my Miracle.
John added a self-portrait on the envelope with the card he sent to me with the journal. We also both agreed to wear obnoxious shirts to make it easier to spot each other. I had a lot of fun holding up the picture comparing it to everyone who walked into the restaurant where we agreed to meet. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good self portrait.
Here we are, reenacting the returning of the journal. I still can’t believe that it was found and that I got it back. I have written in this not only at every Yosemite Summit, but also on some other trips there with family and with friends. There’s a lot of reflection and history in there, including just practical summaries of what hikes we did on each year and tips I learned along the way.
John is a real character. My friend Pat was with me, and we both really enjoyed his wacky and edgy sense of humor. His adult daughter came with him, and it was obvious they have a really fun relationship. I now have a new friend Sacramento and our paths will cross again.
This experience was yet another reminder of how easy it is to be an answer to prayer if we are ready and available to put others first when the opportunity presents itself. John certainly didn’t have to pick up the journal or go through the extra effort to track me down and return it. The result is some great fellowship, a new friendship, and a reminder that the body of Christ includes people all over that we would never meet unless we are always ready and available to be a part of God’s unfolding story.
Thank you John for being my Miracle last summer. It was nice to finally meet in person.