The Wider View

Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to God with psalms. For you, O Lord, are a great God, and a great sovereign above all gods. In your hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are yours also. The sea is yours, for you made it, and your hands have molded the dry land.
Psalm 95:1-5

Dear People of St. David’s,

I pray this finds you well and resting after the triumphant Fair, ready to engage in all the worship and activities ahead.

As many of you know, I took a long trip in September, 4,200 miles in all! My sister and I traveled as far as Louisiana, heading south on an inland route, and heading home on a more coastal route. The first days were spent on the glorious Skyline Drive in Virginia and The Blue Ridge Parkway into North Carolina. As we ascended the mountains, reaching almost 5,500 feet in altitude, we found ourselves stopping at almost every overlook. It’s impossible to perceive this in the photograph above, but one can see for miles and miles; the mountains seemingly overlapping with one another into infinity. Curiously, the mountains seemed soft, the trees puffy, like the soft tufts on a chenille bedspread. I kept having a sense of God running a protective hand across these seemingly soft surfaces, in a loving caress. “And your hands have molded the dry land.”

One of the most restorative features of the trip was that every day brought something new. We found ourselves being learners, not teachers or organizers, seeing everything around us with new appreciation and curiosity. After a while, we became accustomed to this new feeling and welcomed it each day.

It’s curious, when you think about it, because every day was a transition: new road, new destination, new scenery, people known or unknown at the end of the day’s travel, and new foods! Rather than finding that unsettling, (like the 1966 television documentary, “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium”), we found the experience both relaxing and stimulating; a totally new and different feeling for sure!

I resolved to try to hold on to a little of that feeling after my return. What is the new thing of the day? Because imbedded in it is new learning or a new spiritual insight. I don’t think I will ever look down upon mountains again without thinking of God brushing a loving and proprietary hand over God’s own creation, perhaps soothing our warring instincts. There is always value in stepping back for a wider view.

So, as we move more deeply into this time of transition at St. David’s, I invite you to note the new thing that each new day brings and rejoice and be glad in it. If you can’t find it, step back for a wider view. God’s hand is brushing over you because you are God’s own beloved. Some perceptions and insights are new, some views are new, and some bedrock truths never change.

The Rev. Elizabeth W. Colton
Priest Associate