January 15, 2005: The Grand, Grand Canyon
We pressed through the narrow road before us like a mole nuzzling its way through a tunnel some other creature had made. I leaned forward, my blind eyes groping, straining to catch a glimpse of the unknown. Through the parked cars, pavement, rocks and scrubby trees I caught sight of her. She emerged, seemingly, out of nowhere: A vast, cavernous, indescribable monument. The grand, Grand Canyon.
Before I was cognizant of what was happening, a sob broke loose. Emotion erupted in me from somewhere deep. I fought it for a moment, feeling silly, self-conscious at my reaction. But it was no use. Not even a full view of her—but a glimpse—was enough to expunge deep, sweltering emotion. I grabbed David's arm and squeezed it. My heart spilled out through gushing tears. Throbs of anguish, pain, relief and gratefulness swelled up at seeing a picture that captured God’s former words to me. "I'm bigger than all of this."
We took a narrow, designated path to the rim. There before me stood a replica of what I sensed God is like: wide, open, enormous and unfathomable. The view before me captured God’s consolation to me. He is bigger than all of this! Yes, and here is proof.
As we began our trek around the south rim, the wonder of her bigness and the intricacies of her complexion hypnotized me. Pocked and worn, creviced and rounded, her facial expression told a very old story. The texture was subtle, yet so variegated that I never tired of exploring her beautiful face.
I moved closer to the edge and found her deep bowels drawing me down into her. I wanted to consume her and be consumed by her. I was drawn down into her depths, comforted by the bigness of her outstretched arms, smitten by the enormity of her heart. I took deep, deep breaths, trying to inhale her goodness and beauty and magnificence. I wanted to swallow all that I could take in. I wanted to digest it with each gulp of air, each long exhale.
I wanted her bigness in me to settle my heart and calm it, to bring the message of God’s enormity home to me. My heart ached for trust to swell up and overtake the enemies of my soul that made me feel lost, small and alone; rejected and forgotten; diminished and discarded. I longed for resurrection—breath returning to my faith and quickening it.
“Oh, grand, Grand Canyon. You tell a story: An ancient story of wind and rain and snow and ice. A story of a maker who dreamed of you and fashioned you with the forces of his power. A maker who enjoyed your beauty as he considered you and sculpted you over centuries of time.”
“Oh, grand, Grand Canyon, I am yours. Fill me with your openness and wideness. Feed me from the goodness of your beauty and the freedom of your magnificent space. Teach me everything you know about your maker. Help me know him through you. Be my passage into His wide open spaces.”