waterfalls and romance

Somehow on the morning of Day 4, tho there are very few intersections (and very few roads) in Yellowstone National Park, I managed to get on the wrong road. (Those of you who know me personally and know how par for the course this is may stop snickering now.) I'd suspected that such was the case for awhile, as I was not seeing signs for things for which I expected to see signs... so I finally pulled over, and looked at the map. At that point, it would have taken me a really long time to get down to Lewis Lake for the quiet morning I'd planned to spend there. So I sat in my car and debated... looked at the map again, saw there were a few waterfalls ahead eventually, and decided that one of them would do. This turned out to be an excellent decision, as one of the best moments of the trip was right up that road.

This is Undine Falls. I'm not sure when I've been in a more perfect moment than the time I spent by the falls. The roar of the water, the cool mountain breeze, the birdsong, the sunshine - and a trail to hike. I took it, of course, and soon came to a "crossroads" of sorts... the trail continued on the other side of a fallen tree I could have climbed over; it also looped back to the overlook around a rock. I chose that rock as my meeting place with God, and took a seat. Spent a while just soaking it in. Read the story of Joash and Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24). Thought about it. Prayed. Rested. Became - as Madeleine L'Engle would say - simply my ontological self. Picked up the book I'd started the night before: Walking With God, by John Eldredge. It was perfect timing.

As I was sitting on that rock, any number of people came past - most either walked around behind the rock or continued on over the tree and down the trail. But for whatever reason, two people, at one point, actually came and walked around in front of me. (The trail there was narrower, sloped, closer to the edge of the ravine and uneven footing, but I will grant you, the view was a little better.) They were an older couple - probably in their mid-late '60s - he was still fairly spry, but she was having a little difficulty managing this part of the trail. He stopped a few feet away from me to wait for her, watching the falls, then noticed she needed help. She handed him their camera, and then he reached out for her - and there was just something in the way their hands met, and the way he helped her up that last bit of the trail - I felt I had just witnessed an incredibly holy moment - and the coolest part of it was that I didn't feel like an intruder. This was something I was meant to see. They stood there for a minute, admiring the view, and then continued up the trail. And I... I simply sat there. And wept. Just for a minute. Because it was such a beautiful thing to have seen, in this beautiful, perfect moment.

And because there was something about that moment that touched a chord deep in my heart... the same chord that was struck weeks ago, as I was walking through a local park, and saw an old man pushing his wife through the park in her wheelchair... the same chord that was resonating when I wrote Sparks...

I went back to my book. Read some things on p. 36-37 that (totally out of context) spoke to my heart in that moment. And then the breeze kicked up a bit... and I just knew. God had heard that chord.

And, in fact, He's the One who played it...


Ruth said...

Your story reminded me of this.

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Tara said...

Your 'sparks' are taking a toll on me girl. My heart yearns for that human love so deeply. I hear HIM tell me to "Seek Me"....I say 'Im trying'....'and then what Lord?'

Happy said...

Ruth - thanks for the verse. :) Someone once told me that God even gives us to want the things He wants us to want - which I've always found encouraging. Of course, there's that whole sinful nature thing that plays in... :P so... which desires are really the desires of my heart? and which are just messed up? ah, the simple questions...lol. :)

Tara - One of the things John Eldredge wrote about in his book is about what to do with all those unmet longings we've got, and the struggle we all face sometimes with those, whether they be for love, or a different lot in life, or whatever. He said something to the effect of, sure, it would be nice if God would either just meet those longings or take them away - it would be "easier" to not have to deal with the heartache and the loneliness that comes along with them... BUT God does allow them, and all the emotions that come with them, and the WHY of that is that every unmet longing we have - while valid in and of itself - can also point us to something in us that needs God in some way.

For me, with this whole longing for love thing - what God is teaching me thru it is that HE is the answer to that longing. and while He may indeed someday bless me with a husband, right NOW, He truly is all that I need - and in fact, I have the opportunity to walk in intimacy and learn to trust in Him in such a way that, should I someday get married, will enable me to relate to my husband in a much more healthy manner than I could if I met him and married now. I can tend to lean on other people for support - even prayer - when I should be taking my heart directly to God on my own. At 2:00am - Jesus is the only one up. So I'm learning to go to Him now, and it is *so* sweet.

Yes, it's hard sometimes too. I journalled a bit that day by the waterfall, and pointed out to Him that even He Himself said that it wasn't good for man to be alone - and it isn't - BUT, ultimately, Christ and my church community answer that... tho I know He does understand my want for more than that too. I am praying a lot for the grace to be content where I am - to be joyful in this season of singleness that I wish sometimes would end a little more quickly than it looks like it's going to... and clinging to verses like the one Ruth just quoted - and this one: "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you as well." It's all about Him and His kingdom... and if it advances God's kingdom better for me to be as I am now, it is worth the price. (which is easier to say when I am not faced with the prospect of attending yet another wedding without a date.) :P

Hang in there, my friend. He is with you, and He knows exactly how you feel. He walked this road, too... which gives me so much comfort. :)

Ruth said...

Erwin McManus talks about the concept of God giving us the desires of our heart in his book "Chasing Daylight" He says "if you are passionate about God you can trust your passions". I blogged about it here.