Be exalted, o God, above the heavens; let your glory be all over the earth. Psalm 108:5 Little girls love to play dress up, don’t they? One of my favorite childhood memories is when my best friend, Kate, and I would do just that.
On lazy summer days we were allowed to climb the wooden steps and play in the cellar top. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term typical to farm life, this was a room built atop the root cellar, and separate from the main dwelling and sometimes used as spare room for visitors or for storage. Just inside the door was a steamer trunk chock full of ladies’ dresses, purses and shoes. There were even a few little girl dresses we insisted her pre-school aged brother wear. He had no choice. We were four years older and much bigger than he. I always chose the same frock, a black cotton shirt waist with Pepto-Bismol pink polka dots the size of dimes. It was gorgeous, I thought.
We chose our ensembles carefully. When fully attired, with shoes dresses, and purses, off we would go, down the narrow steps, and into the yard. Clad in a little girl’s pinafore, poor Mikey was dragged along, in white anklets and in pink Barbie play pumps. Navigating the lawn was difficult in high heels miles too big for our feet and dresses dragging the ground. But the real challenge came when we passed through the gate into the barnyard. Our destination was a huge boulder halfway up the mountain that we called the Indian Rock.
A barnyard can be rugged terrain. In dry weather, the ground is pitted and deeply pocked with the mud-dried hoof prints of cattle. Cow pies, some dried and some fresh, created an organic obstacle course. There was no walking in a straight line. It was exhausting, but we never gave up. We knew the view from above was worth it.
We plodded on, crawling upwards, struggling, boosting ourselves up by grabbing onto small saplings and any weed stable enough to hold the body weight of an eight-year-old.
Hours later, or so it seemed that way, we arrived at the Indian Rock. Careful not to get too close to the edge, we sat, then scooted on our bottoms out onto the smooth ledge to survey the small valley from whence we’d come.
To Kate, little Mikey and I, the Indian Rock was Mount Everest. To us, it was the top of the world. The vantage point allowed us to look upon the world we lived in every day from a totally different perspective. Surrounding mountains were closer, so we could see details never seen from below. The house, the barn, trucks and tractors, even people, down below looked like toys from where we sat. We breathed deeply. The air even felt different up there.
I imagine God looking down on His creation from a place much higher than the Indian Rock. Talk about a view!
I invite you to try it. Close your eyes, let your mind relax, and then visualize the world from God's perspective. I am not simply me and you are not simply you, but we are a small part of a larger whole. If something occurs in my life, it often has a ripple effect that sends waves of energy through the lives of others, whether or not we realize it.
I’ve never been short on imagination, but for some people, it may be as challenging as it was making it across the barnyard and up the hill shoes too big. Persistence and patience and playfulness can take you there. And like reaching the Indian Rock, the experience is so rewarding. It takes me out of the closed little world. Beyond fears and failures. Beyond silly things like bad hair and wrinkles, achy knees and a burned casserole.
When I look at “the big picture,” seeing all creation through the eyes of God, I see how small I am. I see how big God is. And I am awestruck by His love for me and you and all of His creation.
Truly, words fail me.
Holy and Wonderful God, You take my breath away with the beauty of Your creation, with the depth of Your love and with the width and breadth of Your mercy. Amen.