by Rev. Mona Chicks, CFDM Board Member
We’ve just spent a few days in the Olympic National Park in Washington State. It is a place of pure beauty – stunning views, amazing wildlife, and an endless supply of hiking opportunities. Or so we hear. While we were there, the area we visited was shrouded with clouds, hidden behind layer after layer of thick, wet blanket.
Being there in that place and knowing but not seeing what was hiding behind the clouds felt somehow appropriate, though. This has been a season of tragedy for our world and our country, one in which it feels like everything is spinning out of control. We humans are so shrouded in our own anger, fear, and self-interest that it is hard to see the beauty with which we are endowed. It feels like hope is hidden from us, like the vistas from mountain peaks hidden in cloud.
But even in this chaotic time, we can be harbingers of hope and beauty – because we know the Author of this story. As P.T. Forsyth said,
The weakness of much of the current mission work is that we betray the sense that what is yet to be done is greater than what Christ has already done. The world’s gravest need is less than Christ’s great victory.
We can be assured that, even in this time of despair, frustration, fear, anxiety, and chaos, that God’s victory has already been won. Jesus Christ did it, once and for all, and we can celebrate what is hidden behind the clouds because we know what is there is God’s Kingdom. In the meantime, we have a map to guide us – a revelation given to us in the form of words and the Word – to tell us where we are and what to look for.
We can find beauty and hope in the midst of the obscuring clouds. We know what we’re looking at, even if we can’t see it in front of us. Prayer is the key for us to continually connect with God’s goodness and remind our world that God is the Ruler – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is through prayer that we coax Creation toward its Creator. It is prayer that lifts us when we are down. It is prayer that continues to reveal to us both God and ourselves.
Again, P.T. Forsyth:
The Christian [person] at prayer is the secretary of Creation’s praise.
Through prayer, we illustrate and enscribe the story of God on the tablet of Creation. We bring Christ’s redemptive power to fruition as Creation itself is “groaning with the pains of childbirth.” The clouds might blind us, but the scenery that is hidden is more stunning than we can imagine. And that is where our hope lies in these dark times.