Dear Friends.

Well, we are in our final full day on the Isle of Skye--as enchanted a place as we have ever experienced.  Tomorrow we make our way back to the mainland, to the West Highlands of Scotland, where our kids will join us...along with Jordan's boyfriend, Jake.  We are eager to see them and share this time and place with them.  There is something about sharing moments of great grace that amplifies and intensifies their significance.

I guess that's what motivates me to share this journal with you along the way.

Besides the time we have spent enjoying the peaceful residence we have rented for these three weeks--with a view of rolling green hills, of sheep wandering in and around our yard, tides coming and going, clouds sailing by; the place where Jennifer paints and I read and we listen to recordings of Gaelic music...we have (as my previous post highlighted) hiked far and wide in the afternoons.  I have included a few more images from our hikes below in my attempt to give you a glimpse of just how enchanting this place is.

We did one hike twice.  The first time much of the hike was in the thick of the clouds.  We hiked in mist most of the way.  We knew a massive range of mountains (The Cuillins) was nearby.  But the range was entirely invisible to us.  We did the same hike two days later.  Each day was an enchanted encounter in its own right.  The difference was dramatic. (See two contrasting pics below).  

Two of my favorite verses from I Corinthians 13, as translated in The Message by my friend Eugene Peterson, came to mind:

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

So often we walk in fog and do not know it.  It is a part of our human condition that we comprehend only a fraction of what is actually there...of what we are in the midst of.  There was a certain beauty and mystery in the mist...as there was on the day when everything cleared.  As I said in my final sermon at GUC before embarking on this journey, I long to see God shining in all things.  Perhaps I'm learning.  djw