Along the trail I walk every day, tall trees line the paved path and witness my regiment. If they could do more than bend in response to the breeze, and whisper caresses against each other's boughs, they'd give me a "Good job!" now and then. "Keep going!" I imagine them saying. But whispers aside, the trees are silent.
The ceiling above, on these hour-plus walks, is an ever-changing palette. Mid-June's cobalt blue (that was for you, Cora :) will eventually give way to Pacific Northwest gray (which I adore).
Yesterday, my covering was blue. Deep blue. Blue like a promise. On my tar-blackened path, I walked--for the first 40 minutes--to the beat of Simply Red and Michael Buble; Five for Fighting, and a bit of Natasha Bedingfield. When I turned and began retracing my steps, though, I switched to a worship playlist and heard Brett Williams, Brenton Brown, and Matthew West.
I liked the first half of the trip; I loved the second. There's just as much talent in Christian music, but they have an added edge in that the lyrics connect with your spirit. I'm never sorry when I think to switch to that playlist.
About twenty minutes from home, the trees lining the trail break away to reveal a wide-open space. An endless queue of power lines and radio towers dot the rolling meadow, but if you can ignore those steel uglies, what captures your eyes is the sudden vastness of the sky. The sliver that snuck peeks at you through the treetops all the rest of the walk now shouts its presence. You have to look up. You have to draw in a bigger breath, for just that span of steps.
As I approached this opening in the trees, Third Day began singing, and I heard familiar words. But words I've heard--and sung--a hundred times before, deepened themselves into a God-thought. He timed the nudge I felt to switch to that playlist; timed the order of songs that played themselves into my ears; timed the moment those words would mingle and meld with the sight I saw above my head.
Your love oh Lord reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountain
And Your justice flows like the oceans tides
And I will lift my voice to worship you my King
And I will find my strength in the shadow of Your wings
I heard the words, and I heard the truth behind them. His love, vast like the sky, presses down on me every second of every minute. It's not the elusive thing we think it to be. It covers the earth like a canopy, and there's no place where His love wasn't there first. It's the touch of wind against my cheek, the air that fills my lungs, the source of my heartbeat and my dreams.
In the face of such insistent passion, there's not much more you can do but cry. So I did.