Sunday, January 4, 2015

Speaking of God...

The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. Psalm 65:12-13

They shout for joy and sing… On the twentieth anniversary of Mt. St. Helen's eruption I hiked for miles along rocky trails that gradually led me to higher elevation. Along the way, I stopped on plateaus of granite and gazed on my back trail. At several points, even all those years later, the landscape was still barren and desolate. Two decades earlier, super heated gasses from the volcanic explosion scoured the mountainside down to bedrock. Here and there were gray weathered stumps of old growth trees. There was nearly a total absence of color. Nothing remained except bleached stumps with jagged edges. Coming to the highest point of my trek I looked off into the distance. Streams and riverbeds that had been throttled and choked by millions of cubic feet of ash, shattered stone, and lava had found new routes. Thin ribbons of green seemed to escort them along. Contrasted to the desolate mountain beneath my feet, off in the distance, were thousands of acres of lush green fields that spilled down from the crowns and shoulders of lower mountains and flowed like an emperor's robe over the slopes. A restoration project was underway by the local foresters and life was returning. So vivid were the colors against the deathly drab of the surrounding destruction, that those fields and immature tree growth seemed to shout out joy and sing.

Tonight, when I read those verses, the memories came back. I understand what the Psalmist felt. I remember how the physical gift of sight was transcended and crossed into the spiritual depths of my soul. Deep inside me those vistas spoke of the presence of God.

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