Grandfather Rainier

Well, good morning to you all. Yesterday, Ryan and I drove down to Federal Way (a smaller city about a half hour south of us) to look at a vehicle. (We are vehicle hunting.) Not surprisingly, it was a complete disaster. We got lost. The person we talked to on the phone neglected to mention that the vehicle had been totaled in a car crash, and although we doubled checked to make sure it was 4 wheel drive, it miraculously was 2 wheel drive when we got there. It was mostly a wasted, frustrating trip, except for one thing.

The mountain was out.
This expression means very little to all of you; however, here in Seattle, it is an expression of the myth-like presence Mt. Rainier has in this city. It does rain quite regularly here, so it is often cloudy. On these days, you would never know that one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen is contained in those clouds. When Ryan and I first arrived in Seattle, it was days before the mountain was out. But the wait was well worth that first sighting.
On the way to Federal Way, you get a more full glimpse at Mt. Rainier than you do anywhere in Seattle. Yesterday’s light was somewhat eerie in nature. There were the light yellow hues, the bluish purples, the ever-so-subtle rose colors. It was one of those days that many people don’t like. It was not bright and sunny with blue skies. It was subtle… it was a day where people like me shoot themselves in their foot because I managed to leave my camera at home.
However, this really wouldn’t have made a difference. We were on 1-5, and my days of begging Ryan to pull over on the highway ended with our road trip; so instead of wallowing in my inability to capture this breath-taking sight with my camera lens, I began to ingrain it in my mind so that I may paint the picture for you with words.
It wasn’t just the eerie colors that made the sight so spectacular–it was the full view we were able to have. For the first time, I began to see Mt. Rainier as the grandfather it is. The huge massive mountain jets out of no where. It’s presence is commanding. The clouds created slight shadows along his face, further causing the emotion of mysteriousness to be evoked from me. Grandfather Rainier was covered in white wisdom. All around Rainier, were little foot-mountains. You could see the resemblance, and immediately, I knew that these were his grandchildren. Suddenly the sight had great meaning. Grandfather Rainier was sitting down today with his grandchildren. You could see where he had sprinkled some of his white wisdom on top of them. You could tell they were his because of their shared resemblance of cragginess.  The grandfather is clearly more refined, softened by his years in nature, but his statue makes up for the loss of any rough edges. The grandchildren listen attentively in awe of their grandfather, hoping they will learn the secrets of becoming a massive, mysterious, mythical mountain. Grandfather Rainier seems to have this incredible ability to reveal some of himself, yet to remain a complete mystery. He has this tension of showing his blue, rough edges, but hiding in the clouds so often. And even when the Grandfather is out, clouds still keep him from being revealed fully, and the white wisdom hides some of his scars. I think the grandchildren can see even more of him than I can because they are doing what is good. They are sitting at his feet.
Today, I dropped Ryan off at a friends house so they can head up to the mountain to snowboard. It was sunrise as we drove, but by the time I reached the top of Queen Anne Hill, the light had changed, and the mountains had lost some of their distinctness. Unfortunately, I missed the perfect moment to capture the shoot for the second day in a row. I started thinking about Grandfather Rainier on my way home, and it being Sunday, I started thinking spiritually (ha,ha).
Often times, I think God is like Grandfather Rainier. Sometimes we can see him clearly, and it’s breathtaking. In fact, these moments seem to redefine our whole existence; yet most of the time, He seems to be somewhere in the clouds. And amazingly enough, when he’s in the clouds, I often forget He’s out there at all. And when I do see Him, He has this incredible tension of revealing Himself and remaining so mysterious. I could be frustrated by this, and I often am, but I could also take the time to simply sit, in the foot-mountains, and be His child, looking at Him with awe and begging for some white wisdom to fall on me. I could do what is good and worship at His feet. 
This morning Mt. Rainier reminded me that I need to be looking for God in my world and in my days. As I drove on the over pass going over 1-5 on my way home, I got frustrated by the car beside me because they ruined my opportunity to get another glimpse at the Mountain. I looked around and tilted my head, like a child does at some wondrous event when they are too small to see the grandiose behavior going on. And I thought: Will I even go through that much trouble to see God in my day today?

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