|Beauty touches beauty at Moraine Lake|
As we toodle around Banff National Park, it is easy to pause, take in the view, and snap a few pictures which will never capture the grandeur and scope of the landscape. But we do this to touch the scenery and to later remember where we were.
On Sunday afternoon, we walk past the Roman Catholic church in Canmore. The priest has chained the parking lot to keep out the tourists. "Mass has concluded, stay out of here" is the unfortunate message. Apart from the obvious breach of hospitality, this belies the unfortunate split between the God who is revealed in scripture and the same God who leaves fingerprints all over the beautiful world.
|My favorite "unreal" body of water: Peyto Lake|
In territory that looks like this, I can understand why people are outside, enjoying nature. The splendor is compelling. I lament how some of my fellow clergy lack the imagination to find and describe the intersection between heaven and earth. Like a lot of others, they tend to choose one over the other, forgetting that Christ is the One who holds all things together.
|Is this Bow Lake - or merely a copy?|
Christian people need to be around beauty, especially like this. It lifts them out of temporal distress. It corrects their arrogance by reminding them of how small and limited we are. It prompts them to envision a great God whose power and abundance surpasses everything we see and know. This is grace in granite.
|Along the Icefields Parkway|
I guess that is why I am here. Not as a tourist but as a pilgrim. As we travel up the Icefields Parkway, surrounded by 10,000 foot-high blocks of granite, I imagine the Creator's good pleasure in conjuring all of this out of the soil.
|Rundle Mountain, overlooking Banff Township|
I also imagine God's delight when the children made in the divine image see the holy handiwork and exclaim, "Wow! Thanks for giving us a world that looks like this."
|Takakkaw Falls, at full power|