Today for the first time instead of hitchhiking on lonely Route 345 along the Sea of Japan, I took the train 25 kilometers further to Gatsugi station so I could hitchhike on Route 7 which has more traffic. It was cold but it wasn’t raining or snowing as it was the previous week.
Five drivers took me to Hachiryu which is the beginning of a free expressway. I opted to get off there even though the driver said he was going further. Hachiryu (means 8 dragons) is an ideal place to hitchhike because the preponderance of traffic is going the direction I need to go – north. They want to take advantage of the free expressway that goes north from that point. Not many cars would be going south from Hachiryu because the road is a tollroad going south. Tolls are expensive on non-free expressways. Only those people who are in a hurry or those who can easily afford it will take them.
After over 30 minutes wait for a car to stop for me, I was getting desperate. In less than two hours it would be dark. Darkness ends further hitchhiking that day. Finally a lady stopped! I immediately jumped into her car without asking her destination. What a mistake that was! I assumed she would go at least as far as Higashi Noshiro, the second exit going north and another good place to hitchhike. But I was dismayed to learn she would get off at the first exit, Minami Noshiro. I knew both from experience and logic Minami Noshiro is a bad place to hitchhike! Most of the traffic would be going the opposite direction toward where I came from, to the south and not north toward my destination. The lady knew from the sign I was holding that I was going both north and east from that point. Why would she think she was helping me? She wasn’t. She actually hindered my journey by picking me up! Nevertheless I was courteous and thanked her. She was on her way to a hospital to be treated for a cold. I gave her a few drops of my pepperment oil and told her to rub it on her nose. Since I have been using pepperment oil, I hardly get a cold anymore.
I knew God would have to do a miracle for me to get me out of my fix. And sometimes He uses my mistakes to get me to meet people I would not have met otherwise.
A man stopped for me. Sure enough, he was going south. I told him no thank you and he drove off. Later I wondered if I should have told him to take me back to Hachiryu. I decided to do so with the next driver who stopped if he or she was going that direction.
After a considerable wait, another lady stopped for me. She was also going south, but when I told her I was going north to Hirosaki and would be passing through Odate (the birthplace of the dog Hachi of the film of the same name starring Richard Gere) , she said she would take me to Odate! It is her home town and it would give her an opportunity to visit her mother. The miracle I needed! God is good!
The lady is a nurse. Nurses often stop for me. She was glad to hear the Message I shared with her from the Bible. She called me a “happiness doctor.” I really wanted to take her photo but she said no. She is 40, a mother of two daughters, and her husband is 43 centimeters taller than she is! He is 190 cm tall. Not many Japanese are taller than me. I’m 183 cm.