a rugged mountain

THE MOUNTAIN OF MY YOUTH image courtesy of photobucket.com

I remember the warm breeze and the late afternoon sun washing the majestic desert mountains in a beautiful purple tint, highlighting it’s rugged texture. I’d seen it before, in fact, I’d seen it so many times in my life it was like home, protecting and surrounding the community I’d grown up in as a kid.

I’d never witnessed it quite the way I did that day a year ago this weekend. That was the first time I’d ever looked upon the desert mountains surrounding my hometown under those circumstances.

After long embraces with my mom, wife, and most of the rest of my family I stood outside the room staring at those old familiar mountains with tears in my eyes.

I first glimpsed those mountains as a child of nine years of age. I remember how rugged and unforgiving they appeared. 38 years later after having climbed to the top of them, walked deep inside them in the old abandoned mine shafts and racing equally as dumb friends down the rugged and rocky slopes, I knew those mountains like I knew myself.

Those mountains witnessed the lives of my family growing up, they were there in good times and bad, they were consistent. Those mountains reminded me of my dad. Strong, rugged, and unyielding to the storms of life. Within his consistent actions of protection, provision, and unshakeable faith in God was the beauty.

Those traits reflected the strength of a rugged mountain. God used my dad as the rock, anchor, and shade of his mountain as the example for others.

God provided for my dad like the water for the earth, his wife, my mom. That was the sacred garden of my dad’s mountain, hidden deep within his heart of his mountain.

As I gazed upon the mountains like so many times before in my life a year ago, it was different. Our personal mountain was gone… I would never set eyes on those mountains again with my dad here with us.

I knew my dad would never gaze up at the mountains or see them from our earthly perspective. His new perspective would be a heavenly one…

The pain, suffering, and death that are part of this life and that everyone in it will face is over for my dad.

I would be remiss to share my dad’s life and not mention the purpose of his life. My dad believed and lived his life sharing with others the Good News of Jesus Christ. That good news is a better, eternal life with the Creator of all souls.

We do not grieve as those who have no confidence inside their heart. I will see my dad again, I’m confident of that. It is called faith. Everyone has faith in something or at least bets their eternal soul on what they believe in their heart.

The only thing in this world that we can really call our own and have a choice about is our soul. It is the only thing that makes it through to the other side… It’s a hell of a thing to gamble with… Literally…

As we walked into the room a year ago I was hoping to hear my dad say the usual, “Hi Son”!

He struggled to open his eyes one last time… As if to say “Bye Son”…

We walk the remainder of our days upon this earth in the shadow of my dad’s mountain…

From where he now abides, it is more beautiful and comfortable than ever…

Happy Anniversary Pop’s, I guess we’ll carry this pain inside our chests until we meet again…