Well, it’s been a week since I’ve posted, but for good reason. I returned on Fri. from a trip to New Hampshire to see J. graduate from His Mansion Ministries
, after a year long stay there. The whole trip was beautiful and so full of light and grace. I’m having a hard time finding words that will do the whole trip justice, but I’ll try. God is truly amazing and so full of love for His creation. First of all, as a report, J. is doing great. He has a peace about him that I haven’t seen for many years, and his willingness to accept his own mistakes and limitations is astounding and also a blessing. I was honored to be there for his graduation, and amazed at the love bestowed on me and J’s folks by the staff there at His Mansion. I commented to Janna after I returned, that one can always tell when you are in the presence of true believers. Jesus said that “the world will know (them) by (their) love.” This is precisely what I experience that truly reaches into that inner place in my heart and burns with love returned. I can’t imagine anything more pleasing to God that when His servants love one another. Whether we are Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Orthodox, the love of God is the thing we need to show to each other and the world. It was this love and acceptance that above all things made me feel welcome and also seemed to transcend the veil that the world casts on life, and for a brief shining instance you see REAL life; more alive and vibrant than you ever dreamed possible.
The rest of the the trip can be summed up by one experience…summiting Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington is 6, 300 ft. tall, and is the highest point in the Northeast. We left His Mansion in the fog and rain, and it was a two hour drive to Mt. Washington. J. really wanted to go and stand there one last time before he left. He had hiked over it twice before during his Appalachian Trail days. I’m sure there is a special connection there for him. Anyway, we left and drove up there, already expecting the worst, as it was a crummy day. We arrived at the special access road to the top and the Ranger informed us that, not only was it very expensive to go up, but visibility at the top was only 50 feet. We all glanced up the mountain to see the top 1/3 covered in clouds. Well, here’s the kicker; I knew how much this trip meant to J., and I also really wanted to see off the top of the mountain, so I prayed for a good portion of the trip; giving thanks to God for everything, and also praying for friends and family, etc. One of the things I asked the Lord was that he let the sun shine for just one hour so that J. would have this one last gift before he left for Alaska. Well, God never disappoints. Lo and behold, we got 2/3 up the side of the mountain, and all of the clouds parted and the sun came out full force. The entire hour we spent hiking around the summit, the sun stayed out and the winds died down. As soon as we got in the car and began heading back down the mountain, the clouds and fog rolled in and the sun disappeared. One of the scientists that staff the weather stations on the mountain, commented to us about how rare the weather was. He said that they get about 3 really clear days a year there, and this was really odd. Alleluia! Thanks be to God for the gift of sunlight! Well, needless to say, I was amazed, and then I felt ashamed. I hadn’t really believed that God would do it. I felt like, “Why would he clear up the sky just for my stupid prayer?” Lord have mercy. Of course He did it. He did it because I asked. No pride, no hidden agendas, just a simple request. Why do I ever doubt that perfect love? Wow.
Well, needless to say, it was an amazing trip. There’s so much more I could say, but words would never do it justice. I can only describe the way the dew looked on that green grass, and the way the fog hung like a shroud on the mountainside there at the Mansion. However, this doesn’t equate to seeing it with your own eyes, and feeling it in your soul. God is indeed full of amazing grace, and the beauty of His Creation is more than I can bear sometimes. It breaks my heart with a longing for that new earth that will never pass away. I sincerely hope that C.S. Lewis is right in “The Last Battle” of the Chronicles of Narnia, when he descibes how the New Narnia (New Earth) “looked just like the old one, only more so.” Rich Mullins has a song lyric that goes, “No one ever tells you when you get born here, how much you’ll come to love it but how you’ll never belong here.” Yeah, that’s about it. Just as on the top of the mountain, looking out over all that beauty that God made, I’ll ever cry, EVEN SO LORD JESUS, COME QUICKLY!