I glance at her, pensive.
Hands shoved deep in my pockets, I say
“But if I go there . . .
I don’t know anybody. And it’s flat,
what about the mountains?”
She gazes intently at her shoes as we walk
together in the sunshine.
“Well, I guess you’ll just have to kick up some dust –
make your own mountains.”
She grins at me, quite pleased with her answer –
no hint of doubt in my ability
to construct such a monstrosity. Because of course
it takes no more faith to build a mountain
than to move it.
Such a procession I have never seen!
A cry goes up, “come - let us watch
the leaves lay down their lives
one fading spark at a time.”
“What is this beauty you see -
Is it not but the funeral
of a multitude of leaves?”
“Ah, but my friend -
what is this funeral if not
a memorial bursting with joy?
Yes, a celebration of beauty -
of hope arising triumphant
from so many fallen waifs.
The leaves bid us farewell
with a promise that has never died.
we shall come again!’”
Papa, Papa I need You.
Here on this path I’m walking, the night
has fallen and the trees, whose leaves
waved at me so cheerily this morning
now rustle, suspiciously. They whisper
around me in sinister, secretive tones, as if
the blackness, descending
has raised up my fears afresh -
and the wolves can smell it.
Papa, do You not know this forest also?
I have heard that You do.
Please, come hold my trembling hands,
and my fearful heart, so that I will know
even in this terrible darkness -
I do not walk alone.
“And in that magical instant
you realize how long it’s been
since you felt just that way.”
Five years, on top of an unnamed mountain.
A lifetime ago - was it really you,
who has travelled all this way?
Never - what on this earth can compare
with being all here, right now?
Seven million, four-hundred thousand, sixty-
two gasping breaths before this one. Or,
the time it takes to fly to the stars and back.
In other words, forever -
and no time at all.
Yes, I have given -
have you received?
Have you entered this gift
ascended this mountain, grappling
with first one boulder
and then the next, and on and on
until My mountain
is your mountain too and you can see
all the others I have made, seemingly
unmovable yet not more sure
than My own Word.
My child - have you discovered, that
I am your Mountain to run to.
I am your Rock.
I will go and climb a mountain.
Find the trail and walk up
and up, breathe in, breathe out.
One more step and one more
step and I am so very tired.
So very tired,
but it is another mountain which has
knocked me to my knees.
Still I climb but oh how it hurts -
what might have been and what really was!
Who can capture this?
What writer has words for it -
what sculptor can mold his clay and say to me,
“Behold your pain!”
But you know, “I look to the hills . . .”
So many rocks and boulders.
So many mountains around me
and wind and sun.
God may I not stay here?
Please let me stay here and let
the sun shine always.
It is just You and me here,
and I do not want to go back
to that valley.
Get up, get up, get up out of bed -
it’s time to start walking this road up ahead.
I know you cannot see anything,
But I have a candle for you.
I see your face emerging cautiously
from the boulder – you look tired.
When will you be complete?
Crowds pass you by, looking for the views
at the mountaintop. There is nothing
about a lichen – covered boulder, caressed
by trees and wind, but I have heard that
the creation of a masterpiece is a solitary process*
not to be seen by the rushing crowds.
So we will wait, you and I,
until the last imperfection
has been chiseled off
and the last torrential rain
has washed us clean, and then
we will live.
*reference to the book Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard