Now you see it . . . now you don't! That's the way it works with Mount Rainier in Washington State. While it is only eighty miles from Seattle, and over fourteen-thousand feet in elevation, it is visible from the city a mere 90 days a year. Pollutants, fog and other atmospheric realities obscure it the rest of the time. It is very similar with Mount Hood, outside of Portland, Oregon.
Linda and I had the good fortune of viewing both mountains on our trip this week to the Pacific Northwest. But we just as easily could have missed the sight of either or both and their magnificent, snow-covered peaks!
I got to thinking the simple yet profound theological statement both mountains seem to be making--at least analogically. For God seems to often work in exactly the same way. Now you see him (her) . . . now you don't. Some days the hand of a good and loving God is readily apparent as one makes her or his way through life. Those times when one sees a beautiful sight like Rainier or Hood is a good example of such days. Clearly, there is a creative force behind such wonders!
Yet other days, when the human tendency to obscure and abuse the planet is most obvious, one can't help but wonder, where is divinity in all this?
But here's the kicker. Even if we had not seen either of the mountains, I would have believed they were both there. And so it is with God. Even when God is obscured, seemingly absent, not in my line of vision, the mountains remind me that God is present. And that, in a word, is faith.
I look unto the hills--
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth!