One of my favorite hobbies is trying to capture the beauty and story of creation through photography. Many of my photos have a story behind the picture, whether it’s about the location, history, or just what I sensed God speaking to me in the moment. So here’s the story behind this picture of Image Lake in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness. A couple summers ago our Scout Troop went on a 50 mile backpacking trip that took us on a route along the Suiattle River, up over Cloudy Pass and then down to the shores of Lake Chelan. A couple of the days included some pretty aggressive elevation gains, one of which took us to Image Lake. There was another trail that was more gradual in gaining the elevation, but I really wanted to get up to Miner’s Ridge lookout tower and this lake so I could capture pictures of Glacier Peak mirrored in the lake.
A week or so before our hike a wildfire began to burn in the area, and as we ascended the mountain ridge I noticed how hazy and smoky the air had become. As a photographer I was sorely disappointed, and I seriously questioned my decision to carry the extra five pounds of camera gear. Was it worth it? I argued that point with myself with each turn of the switchback trail. I was reminded that it’s in our disappointments when God does some of his best work in us. While I was walking around the lake, swatting away the horse flies that were big enough to carry nuclear warheads, and trying to get a few shots of the scenery; I was lamenting the smoky conditions that almost completely blocked out the view of the mountain behind it. After I took this particular shot, I paused and clicked on the photo preview button to see if there was anything worthy of keeping.
Pause and look closely at the photo for a moment. Do you notice how the tree line and its reflection in the lake look like a sound wave? It’s like I could hear the Holy Spirit whispering the poetic words of Isaiah:
“You will go out in celebration, and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you; all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (55:12)!
And then there are the verses in Luke where Jesus says even the stones would cry out their praise. Maybe these sound waves are nature’s praise of their creator. Or maybe these are sound waves of God speaking to us through the beauty of his creation.
How often do we go through life having little pity parties for our disappointments and totally miss how God is all around us, reaching out to us, speaking to us?
I’m really glad I previewed the picture in that moment; it totally changed my attitude…despite the smoke and haze and carnivorous bugs…
My prayer is that perhaps this little story may brighten your outlook for today. May you have eyes tuned to see God in your surroundings, and may you rejoice when you see him!