A friend of mine was experiencing a family health crisis. After several phone conversations, I became convinced I needed to make the hour drive to be with her. I knew by the time I got there I would have a limited amount of time with her. Sometimes it just does not seem adequate telling someone you’re “there for them” when you’re miles away, especially when those miles are not insurmountable.
So there I was, traveling late in the day, down a remote highway in northern Virginia. The sun began to shift toward it’s resting place below the horizon. In the calmness of the afternoon my thoughts were focused on where I was headed. I wondered what I would say to my friend. I worried I’d say the wrong thing. I struggled to imagine what words could bring comfort. I did not wish to be inappropriate or ineffective. I wanted to give her support. I wanted her to know she was not alone. I wanted to not say too much or too little. I wanted…and I worried….then it happened.
I was passing farms, farm houses and barren fields when a rather large bend in the road oriented my car alongside an expansive rolling, mountainous, hillside. In an instant my mind snapped from its previous diversion and I let out an audible gasp. I was not expecting the sight before me and it was without a doubt breath-taking, literally. The land for as far as I could see was a radiant golden hue. I’m not sure what sort of trees covered the area, but unlike the colorful fall foliage of reds, orange and yellow we often see in these parts, the entire hillside was glowing gold. The sun had almost completely set on my right, but its remaining rays were bouncing off the vision to my left . For several miles I was given a brilliant light show of glittering trees. It was as if God had laid a fluffy golden blanket over the earth. You know when you throw a sheet on the bed and it sort of puffs up before settling onto the form of the bed? That is the way these huge hills looked, only radiant as well.
It was as if God was saying, “Here’s your sign.” God had used His phenomenal creation to startle me into remembrance that He is God. He is in control. He holds my loved ones. He cares for my friends. He, and only He, can bring peace to a hurting heart. He is the mighty comforter. I no longer needed the right words or actions to help my friend. All I needed to do, was show up. He only asks us to love Him. In loving Him, we are able to love others.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2