the little things: wild, unpredictable, glorious (lizzy bailey).

As per the usual, I love today’s post, and I love today’s writer.  Her words are the epitome of Lizzy herself: straight, simple, and sprinkled with nuggets of holy movement.  Enjoy this snapshot of one small and powerful moment atop one large and power-filled mountain.  

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I close my eyes, and I see it.

It was a perfect summer day in the British Columbia mountains. I had just graduated high school and was on a backpacking adventure with my best friends. Sunshine, a slight breeze, and layers of mountains as far as I could see. We were on day four of six on our adventure, and having survived the trees, rivers, snow, and constant up, up, up, we made it. We were living on the mountaintop.

We had a few hours of solitude time, so I gathered my two foam sleeping pads, journal and lunch, and headed for a rock outcropping at the edge of the mountain. My friends were spread out far along the ridge, so I too found the perfect spot. Basking in the sun, I read and wrote, listened and ate.

It was pure bliss.

Some people, like Lizzy, climb these mountains.  Some people, like me, do not.
Some people, like Lizzy, climb these mountains. Some people, like me, do not.

A couple of hours in, I remember standing up to stretch, when all of a sudden a gust of wind roared up, stealing one of my foam mats. It was the good, thick, comfortable one.

No!  Shall I chase after it?  Eh, not a wise move.  

I watch it tumble and flip over the jagged rocks below. There was nothing I could do. So I sit instead. I watch the departure of foam mat #1. It felt like forever. I watch it fly through the air and fall and rise with the wind, like it had been given wings and was finally free to fly. Goodbye, dear friend, companion, layer of comfort all these nights. There you go, at the mercy of the Almighty.

Wind is a sneaky little bugger. How can it be so refreshing yet so powerful and violent at the same time? I’m not sure why I remember the foam mat #1 incident so vividly, or why the clarity of the moment is with me thirteen years later. I think, maybe, it’s because the power of God was on display right in front of my face – it was so close I could feel it, smell it, hear it. The author and designer of creation was showing off for me. I had encountered a God who was wild and unpredictable and glorious. Sitting on that rock, I felt small and insignificant, yet mightily protected and deeply known.

So today, I close my eyes, and I remember.

I remember that life is best not in the striving for my own plans or finding the worth in my efforts, but rather with a front row seat to witness the mastery of the Maker. I remember that the One who controls the winds controls and provides for my future. And that in the small, routine moments, God comes up big.

IMG_3202Lizzy is a farmer, a substitute teacher, a Young Life leader and a friend who hails from Snohomish, Washington.  She loves running, her golden retriever, Bruce, and good coffee, especially with good friends.  And men, SHE’S SINGLE and ready to mingle, so pick a number today!  Otherwise, friends, what can you say to thank and encourage Lizzy today?  

6 thoughts on “the little things: wild, unpredictable, glorious (lizzy bailey).

  1. I felt like I was on that mountain ridge watching the mat fly off, Lizzy. Your line about the nature of wind – “How can it be so refreshing yet so powerful and violent at the same time?” – is timely, since I was out running with my wife and a friend this morning before dawn in 20 mile an hour winds. Refreshing and hindering at the same time is how I would characterize the wind this morning.

    I’m also reminded of what Jesus told Nicodemus about trying to figure out the ways of the Spirit, essentially that the Spirit moves in ways we’ll never understand but we can sure see the effects of that movement.

    Cheers,
    Tim

    P.S. My wife was a Young Life senior leader in our town, and has spent years and years as a substitute teacher too. Solidarity, Sister!

    1. Tim- Thanks for your words. I love that God lets us see the effects, as you said, of how He’s moving. Just exactly what we need and can comprehend- nothing more and nothing less. And I agree with your wife- leading YL and subbing is a great way to do life, if you ask me!

      -Lizzy

  2. I can relate because I have such a love/hate relationship with the wind …and we get a LOT of it where I live. When I’m really mindful (and not in a complaining, darn-there-goes-my-hairdo kind of mood), I try to remember the Holy Spirit. It does help. Just as you wrote, the wind is such a powerful reminder of God. Thanks!

  3. God comes up big — I love that. Thanks for sharing this memory and your lovely words about God’s power. As spring comes to my part of the world, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of windy days and I will think about them just a little more differently now.

  4. Great reflection Lizzy. Have you ever read any of Bill McKibben’s writing? A great essayist. His book “The Comforting Whirlwind:God, Job, and the Scale of Creation” comes to mind. It’s so amazing to me that God – who is so majestic and mighty and mysterious, would also come to us in the form of a vulnerable baby and die such a death of vulnerability. A God so beyond our knowing, and yet one who comes so close to us – who wants to know us and make himself know to us. so wonderfully amazing. …thanks for writing – DW p.s Is Bruce per chance named after musician Bruce Cockburn?

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