Monday, October 21, 2013

To chase the moon

Last night I tried to capture the moon. Driving home over the mountains the round brilliance looked close enough to touch, big enough to wrap all the people of the world around, and clear enough to see not only the man, but the hills of cheese as well. I thought that if I could just get closer, following its glow in my car, I might be able to capture its brilliance on film. I'd never seen the moon so big and so close, and I wanted to remember it forever, to capture the truth of it so everyone would believe me, so that I would believe the memories of its grandeur. I'm telling you, it was like those pictures of the African sun setting on the plains, it was like nothing I've ever seen.

So I chased it. I grabbed my roommate and my camera and chased the moon to try and get a clear view of it through the trees. When I found a spot where I could pull my car over I did all I could to catch it. I stood in the middle of the winding forest road while my roommate watched for cars. I changed the settings on the camera and I tried again and again. But the moon could not be captured. It defied my attempts and declared that its brilliance would not be found anywhere but the sky.

As I got back in the car and headed home, slightly disappointed at the elusive nature the moon had decided to present, I contemplated what sort of metaphor this would produce. What did it mean that the immense and overwhelming beauty of the light would not be held? What was the significance of witnessing grandeur to be admired but not contained?  As I sought to find the lesson in the chase I decided that some moments were simply made of a beauty that is not meant to be replicated or captured. They are but a magnificent brilliance that becomes the form by which everything thereafter is made more amazing and more true. It is these moments, these memories, that become the light that is never forgotten as we seek to find that same beauty and awe in all that follows.

This first month working with Apache Youth Ministries has contained more light and beauty than I could ever reproduce in words or pictures. The ways I have seen God move, the conversations with girls from the high school, the opportune Scriptures, or the way my team works together, no thing can truly capture its brilliance. No matter how hard I try to hold on to it, this month will always be a memory, a light that shines on the rest of my time at AYM. It will never be forgotten, yet it can never be fully held on to. 

With time I will forget the things that have made me laugh and the conversations that have made me cry. The details of dinners and advice, of conversations and hopes, will all start to fade as the new lights and the new memories are formed. But what will stay with me, no matter how many days pass, is the immense and overwhelming brilliance of God's light in this past month. The beauty of His work and His plans and His hands will cast its extravagance on all that is to come. Though there will be times of darkness, times when mistakes are made and apologies are necessary, I will always remember the light that shone across the darkness in my first month here.

And that is worth far more to me than anything that could be captured in a picture or a word. 

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