And as I read the words, "daughter, remove your shoes, for the place you are standing is Holy Ground" I understood that to face the Father is unlike a power I have seen, read, or heard about in this world. Veiled in glory with a presence to drive me to my knees I trembled in my heart, and was compelled to kneel on the black sheepskin. I had not a chance in the world to face this King of Kings that I feared and loved. How could I reconcile the two? I must face him, and in my imperfect condition. This was like a sword through the heart when I considered his Holy Perfection.
But then I become conscious of another presence, the Son, as conscious as I was of the light beaming through the unshaded window. This Presence spoke for me as an advocate pleading before this Awesome God, and I the puny human was spoken for by the beloved Son. Never before have I understood how I could die and face my Creator, until the moment that I felt sure I would not face Him alone. For as long as I live, I see no greater purpose than to glorify this Love that died, rose again, and has come to lead me to the Father, the King of Kings, the Most Holy God.
Walking in the great, still silence of a landscape layered in snow is one of the great revealers of the human life. All is stripped away and emptiness is the great impression of the world around. The woods are asymmetrical and brown with black and purple hazes that are never quite full and never quite bare, the fields become vast and one gets the impression that nothing but truth lives on in a world pressing in silence. It overwhelms. A bird may sing but it is distant and not near like the sounds of a summer morning. The sun is there but it is too far away to impress one with any warmth or congeniality. Everything has been hushed and the world quieted, but this serves to make one keenly aware of isolation and the seeming iota of space occupied by a puny person.
We humans, when confronted with space, we strive to enlarge, and when faced with emptiness we look to fill up the caverns of nothingness. When once aware of a space it impresses on us like nothing else and idea of something missing may drive us mad, thus convincing us that we cannot be fulfilled until the space is no longer there and we are tucked up cozy by the fire with our hearts desire. But this emptiness has a pricelessness of its own because once stripped of everything that fills life with lushness, and verdant beauty one may slowly realize that God is more fully there when nothing else is than when that space is disrupted by the gifts given to humans by God. It is in these spaces that God IS. It is us before God, with God - and God is around us, and is vital to life as it is vital to music and art to allow the emptiness of space to teach us the fullness of God.
I just realized last year about this time I was getting ready to fly out of JFK to my dream trip to Europe. Turns out, one dream fuels another, and I'm tentatively planning another trip to Norway, Scotland, and Ireland next summer.