It was late evening in 1991 when we boarded our flight from New York to London, having already spent an entire day getting from Seattle to New York. There's just no easy route when heading over the pond, as they say (whoever they are), so weariness was already threatening. I had hoped to sleep during this leg of our considerable journey; but I hadn't anticipated the wonders we'd behold along the way - wonders that caused sleep to lose it's charm.
Umpty-umpty feet above the earth we made our way through thick clouds until, at long last we were far above, and looking down upon them. The earth had disappeared from view altogether. The fast fading daylight gave the billowy clouds a surreal appearance; as if they were a world unto themselves - one of verdant & mystical landscapes. I could see hills & valleys & mountains made of cloud-stuff. There below me, and in plain view were enchanted forests straight from Narnia, or the Land of Nod.
Once night fell (and it fell fast and hard as we headed up and over the globe's surface), the clouds went from enchanted to eerie A storm brewed, and for most of the flight, and the night we looked down upon flashes of lightning - like a million Tinkerbells joined into a Riverdance below us, or like popcorn exploding into puffs of light. At times the plane shook and rattled, as if those light prisms were warning us to scoot along.
It's next to impossible to view a storm today without a deja vu from that London-bound flight. What is beheld from the bottom up is simply no equal to what is beheld from the top down. I suppose that's why I was so deeply stirred when I read this excerpt from yesterday's Streams in the Desert e-Devotional:
O child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of Heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving and passing before God’s cleansing wind.
I am able then, with a memory's glance, to sit in wide-eyed wonder at the storms below ...