As we continue to make our way with great expectation, we give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness, wanting to let the whole world know what he has done.
As we left the Grand Canyon, we found a verse at the desert view overlook declaring all the earth worshipping the Lord and singing praises to his name.
“All the earth shall worship Thee and sing praises to thee; They shall sing praises to Thy name.” Psalm 66:4 (KJV)
We spotted a nativity scene sculpted in desert rock (Mary kneeling on the left, the manger with the baby in the center, Joseph on the right bending over to look at the baby, a shepherd behind him to his left and a angel with towering wings to his right)
Although Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro has arms stretched wide to the masses, the rock formation we found in the desert resembled Jesus (upper left corner) standing, like a shepherd watching over his sheep.
In the distance, praying hands emerge from the rock (lower right corner).
An iconic highway through the desert
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!” Isaiah 40:3 (NLT)
When we reached our next destination, we were greeted with new breathtaking views and a heart showing up in the side of the mountain (center).
We pause when we can, but sometimes it still feels rushed. Sometimes the worries and concerns still follow us. Sometimes it is difficult to really slow down and listen.
As we hiked the rim trail, a large bird swooped by. At first we thought it might be a California Condor but a closer look through the binoculars and camera lens revealed a Golden Eagle. Soaring high above the canyon, showing off by doing loops over us, circling back as if to pose, to display, to demonstrate, to remind us that those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)
Walking on, not growing faint, every twist in the trail, every turn in the path, each new vista, displayed another breathtaking, awe inspiring, beyond comprehension view.
I imagine God using time and the elements to carve away the dross, the grey rock, to reveal the layers he set down through the millennia, to reveal the beauty beneath, reds, whites, golds, striping the canyon walls, illuminated by the sun, declaring his glory.
The sheerness of the cliffs, the canyon walls. The height, the depth.
And God’s love goes deeper still
The vast expanse to the other side. The width, the length.
And God’s love goes wider still
To comprehend, to understand, to experience, the fullness of his love.
The worries of earlier fade with the light and I am raptured by a beauty beyond measure.
To pause. To hear the vast silence. To watch the shadows creep up the side of the canyon as the sun sets and the light fades. The blues and greys on the canyon walls fading to haze in the distance. To wait as the sun makes her way once again beyond the horizon.
To rest on an high vista, to watch another spectacular display of God’s glory. Beyond comprehension, it can only be breathed and imprinted on the heart.
around me are the crowds, who also pilgrimaged here to watch the sunset.
millions of footfalls, thousands of pictures, hundreds of selfies
the multitudes the nations, the many tongues, for one purpose
coming to see, to experience, to watch the sunset over the canyon.
Do they know the One who carved this? Do they know the One who shaped each stone? Do they know the One who marks the course of the sun across the sky? Do they know the One who was here from the beginning and with a word brought it all into existence?
The sun drops below the horizon.
And they depart.
Missing the misty, quiet peace settling over the canyon. A cloak of grey velvet. The shawl of nightfall.
A garment of praise.
Oh how our God continually shows up and shows off. But are we looking?