There is a legend in Alaska, one about a wilderness man who has hit a bear in the face with a 2×4, who has a necklace made of toenails hanging in his van and who enjoys bringing people out into the last frontier to inflict pain and build character. Our friend Luke wrote a great little post about this such man not long ago; it’s a quick read that will give you insight into this legend of a man: Mike Sloan.
I share about Mike because about three weeks ago, he took our family out into the last frontier, to a little cabin he built at the foothills of Denali. It’s a four mile hike through swamps, brush, over a rickety bridge with a rushing river below, up steep hills and along a trail that him and his friend Steve cut out themselves years before! The huzband and I have each individually made this trek before. For me, it was about 3 years ago in November. With the land covered in snow, the river and lakes frozen over, we trekked in falling snow through the most beautiful land I had ever seen! Now here I was 3 years later, making the same trip during summer with the huzband and my 5-year-old daughter. Oh lord what were we thinking!!
A few years ago I was taking pictures of something not commonly viewed as beautiful. Someone asked me why I wanted pictures of it. I believe my response surprised them for I said, “because it is beautiful.” It is something I feel God is continuing to work within me, to see His beauty all around me. In the faces of little children to the wrinkles in a Grandmother’s face, to see His beauty in the slums, among dirt and poor to the awe-inspiring mountains He formed. His hand has touched so much, from the earth we walk on to the lives we encounter daily. I want to always be aware and learn to see how He sees, to have the eyes to see where His love is working, creating and changing.
This hike was no different. In the physical demands of the hike (like the huzband carrying our 5-year-old on his back up steep hills) to the stunning land around us, we encountered God’s beauty. It is a reminder that we are created for so much more than what we sometimes settle for, a reminder that beauty is always around us but are we truly opening our eyes to see it! My heart is bursting with such gratitude that I can experience His creation. I am such a small part of the big picture and when I stand, overlooking the river below my cabin and the beauteous mountains in front of me, I am in awe. I have no words.
All I know is my heart is beating fervently and for just a moment I know it is just Him and I. There is just a small, barely noticeable movement within my soul and then the need to attend my blister brings me back to where I stand.
** the following is just a glimpse from the eye of my phone **