August 16, 2005
Flew to San Francisco for a whirlwind weekend with my dear friend. It was picture perfect, our outlooks in sync, the weather beautiful, plenty to do and see. We took a short trip to Muir Woods, the Redwood forest. Although busy with visitors (how amazing to hear so many languages as we passed by people), the woods retain their hush. The trees overtake each one of us with their quiet majesty. The words “forest primeval” pound in my head in ancient rhythms. We are tantalized by the play of light and shadow, the rough feel of the bark which grew here before our country was founded. And then I hear clearly, surely it is spoken, for rocks would cry out otherwise, “The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
I’m home now, and I’m thinking that walking through those woods–to some– is rather like waiting at a stoplight when a driver (usually young and male) pulls up playing very loud music of a genre I detest. I wait impatiently, angrily, for the light to change, the bass thumping in my chest, my head, my bones. I’m furious that I’m subjected to someone else’s choices and desires but really not able to do much about it except gesture rudely. He is moved not at all; maybe even amused. I am a captive, unwilling to hear the rythms, but unable to escape them altogether.
So it is with those who would not hear or know of Him in the forest of the Redwoods. He is the one whose glory pounds in every massive tree trunk, almost older than time itself. The song plays on: for those who listen and sing along and for those who stick their fingers in their ears and try to hum a different tune loudly. Mostly, though, it plays for itself. This melody, this cadence played before the world began and will play into eternity whether we listen or not. “He is a Great King over all the Earth.” I hear, and I’m singing with you.