Categories: Wednesday ripples 1 Comment

I lift mine eyes

I am writing this in the midst of some foggy days in Vancouver.  The mountains that ring Vancouver are breathtaking on crisp, clear days!  Sometimes I forget that they are even there during the foggy and gloomy, rainy days.  And sometimes, I even take them for granted.  However, having spent my entire life in the lower mainland looking up to the mountains, playing on them, having hiked on them and being awed by their grandeur, they have become a source of comfort.  Much like the open prairie sky is for some, the mountains for me are home and I am so grateful for how they grace and shape our landscape.



Sometimes in the busyness of life and this world, we do not notice, or at times, take for granted the beauty and wonder around us.  There are times that the gloomy, rainy days take over figuratively and it is difficult to see any beauty and wonder.  Sometimes it is hard to notice the hope and love that surrounds us but we know God is with us.  God is always at work creating and recreating, breathing life and hope into the ordinary and extraordinary.

I will often take comfort in the psalms, one of my favorite is Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from God,
who made heaven and earth.

God will not let your foot be moved;
the God who keeps you will not slumber.
God who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

God is your keeper;
your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

God will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
God will keep your going out
and your coming in from this time on
and forevermore.

If the language of the traditional psalms doesn’t capture you, try this version of James Taylor’s (from Everyday Psalms published by Wood Lake Books 1994).  Psalm 121, appropriately titled “A Hiker’s Creed:”

Somewhere out there, past the highest peaks, someone watches over me.
God made these peaks and these valleys, this air and this earth.
Yet God is close enough to guide my feet,
every step I take along life’s precipitous paths.
I may grow weary, but God does not nod off;
My mind may wander, but God always stays alert.
God watches over me.

God stays as close to me as the hat that shelters me from summer sun, as close as the jacket that shields me from the slashing rain.
God watches over me.
God’s hand holds me when I crawl along the edge of a cliff;
It saves me from delusions of depending only on myself.
God keeps me from falling off the edge, and keeps me safely on the path.
God watches over me.
Wherever I go, wherever I may find myself,
God will go with me and watch over me,
Even into eternity.

May we lean into, and trust in the presence of the Holy.  May we notice the hope and beauty that surround us in the moments, and the people that share our path; in the kindness shared and the love lived.

Blessings, Jen

p.s. and if for you this season of Christmas joy and merriness is difficult, as it can be for many, please come and join us for a special service this coming Sunday, December 17th at 7 pm, a Quiet Christmas.

One Comment

  1. Thank you Jen for those comforting words and the breathtaking pictures.

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