Grander Than The Sky

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
― Victor Hugo in Les Misérables

We are on a cross-country road trip to take our daughter back to college, with no time for stopping and taking good focused photos. I apologize these are taken in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota through a buggy-mess windshield at 70 mph.

The expanse of sky stretching seemingly to infinity never fails to awe me on these trips.

As high and broad and endless the sky appears, so much more so are our souls deep within us. We are created everlasting; instead, in our Fall and brokenness, we face the limitations of our bodies. We feel so finite yet our souls are anything but — they are the image and reflection of our Creator.

When we look up– at the clouds, at the stars, at the moon and sun, we are reminded to look within and acknowledge in deep humility — we are His. Bugs and all, even when we are speeding along through our God-given life, too busy to notice the grandeur around us and in us.

He notices.




No Place to Hide


This land changes you if you let it…

There is no place to hide here
from yourself and what you fear.
The meadowlark will break your heart
the magpie steal your breakfast
and once you’ve seen the buffalo graze on Sage Creek they will rumble through your dreams forever.

Diane Weddington in Badlands III


Barrenness incarnate, given this tortured body
By way of instruction from a literal minded maker
in some kind of love  
With gorgeous desolation.

Evan Harris in Badlands Near and Far


The scorched earth from wildfires along the highway in Montana is nothing compared to the utter desolation of the Badlands only a few miles north of where our son teaches in South Dakota.  It is disorienting to see rolling grassland turning to alkali and stark rock tables and spires. There is no where to hide from the brutal transformation.

It seems hopelessness may be all that thrives in this loneliest of places where wind chews at the rocks.  But there is toughness and remarkable color and diversity too.  Hope cannot die where the sunrise and sunset create a portrait of paradise for a few brief minutes twice each day.

It is a promise that even the barren can bear fruit.