I had promised my co-worker, Kay, that I’d cover for her leaving early (her last day was Saturday the 30th) since she covered for me taking an extra day to go to Valdez. However, as I got to talking with Rose about working today, I realized that she is going to be very short-staffed tomorrow (Monday the 1st) so I offered to come in then instead. I had originally thought Mark could just attend his church while I worked today, but since I didn’t have to go to work after all I went with him this morning.
We got to the house where his church meets but the windows seemed dark and we didn’t see any cars in the parking area. Mark admitted to me later that he’d had the sense on the way to church that we should go to my church, so he turned around and headed to Chapel of the North. We walked in during the singing time and sat near the back. There was a guest speaker this morning talking about missions. He started his talk by saying that he was from the southeast corner of Utah. I leaned over to Mark and said, “Isn’t that where Monticello is?” Monticello was where Mark lived when he was in grade school.
The speaker’s name was Edwin Taylor. He talked about selling his ranch when he got too old to run it and feeling a call to become a missionary to Americans in remote areas. He was up here this winter panning for gold, but also witnessing to anyone God brought his way. When he finished speaking he walked out to the lobby. Mark got up and followed him out and introduced himself. Edwin asked him which Fuller he was and as Mark struggled to figure out how to answer, Edwin began naming a few of the Fullers he’d known. Then he mentioned Bruce’s name (Mark’s oldest brother). Turns out he’d gone to school with Bruce and they were friends. In fact, when Bruce was later killed in Viet Nam, Edwin attended his graveside funeral.
We left right after church to go to Fairbanks for some shopping. Normally I would bring along a book to read on a six-hour round trip like that, but this morning I couldn’t find the book we’re in the middle of, so for the first time I actually got to see the whole route to Fairbanks. More importantly, it gave Mark a considerable amount of quiet time to ruminate on the events of this morning. There’s no question in either of our minds that God led us to hear Edwin speak this morning. We got his contact information and will keep in touch.
Another good thing about not having a book along to read was getting to see the change of season. All summer there was fireweed everywhere we went. If you don’t know what it looks like, it is a long-stemmed wildflower with little fuscia-colored flowerets growing up the main stem to the tip. Rose has been saying lately that when the flowerets wither all the way up to the tip, expect the first frost. The fireweed has withered completely everywhere we go now. The aspens are just beginning to turn color. And “there’s snow in them thar hills,” a light dusting of powder on the highest peaks. Lately the temperatures have been getting down to the 30’s and 40’s at night.
Observing the changing of the season brings to mind when Christ said, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3 NAS) What are the signs of our times?