Today I walked up on the mountain behind our house. Just last fall we sat in concern and fear as we watched a wildfire top over the mountain and head right for us. Our hearts dropped every morning and evening as we watched the caravans of forest service trucks and fire trucks drive in out our roads, park in our yards, climb our mountains loaded down with shovels and power saws and other equipment. We could barely stand to go outside because of the smoke and ash raining down on us as we prayed constantly for a different kind of rain.
And when the danger finally passed we walked up the mountain roads and saw the results of this wildfire. Black burnt logs, ash and soot smelling so strong it was hard to get the scent out of our noses, rocks that were charred and fire lines dug out on the mountainside. Destruction and devastation.
And then today I walked up the mountain, the same steps I took just a few months ago and found the miracle of rebirth. Spring, every year amazes me. To watch the mountains turn from gray to green, the flowers popping out, the undergrowth sprouting. But this year it is much more amazing because we literally see beauty coming from ashes. The hillsides that just months ago were black and charred are now green and covered with flowers. Here and there you can see a burnt log, a charcoal rock cliff, evidence of where a fire line was dug out, but right on top of those things is new life-green, pink, white, purple. Beauty rising from the ashes. Just like God promised.
And here is the thing about wildflowers. They grow in some really hard to get to places. I have climbed in the the roughs of these mountains, way off the trail to places that I honestly think no human foot could possibly have been before and guess what is there….wildflowers. Not just one kind but a veritable symphony of flowers. All colors, shapes and sizes. If you go back in two weeks or a month those flowers are gone and new varieties have taken their place. And who is there to enjoy them? Why did God put these beauties so far off the beaten path?
I don’t have the answer to these questions but the song below just keeps popping in my head….
ONLY FOR HIS EYES
By Rusty Goodman
Have you wondered ‘bout places where never mortal faces have been,
Where mountain streams are flowin’ and nobody knowin’ where they’ve been,
Where the birds are singing a new song as they’re wingin’ in
And flowers are swaying like children playing in the wind?
But it’s only for HIS eyes, He alone only knows where His garden grows on the mountainside
Where the beauty of such only raindrops have touched from a sky
That covers this treasure that He put there just to pleasure HIS eye.
I fear that this old world is so evil and corrupt, full of ugliness and darkness that sometimes God needs to have these places of beauty, serenity, and amazement that are for HIS pleasure. I am so thankful that he allows me to have these small glimpses of heaven here on earth. I am thankful that they are off the beaten path. Honestly when I get to those places where I think very few “mortal faces” have been I feel a little closer to God, like He is sharing a special gift that not everyone gets to have. I just can’t find any other explanation for the wonder of wildflowers. So beautiful, so many varieties, so rare and seldom seen....just another way God reveals himself.