On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon with a very good friend, we decided to spend the early part of our last morning watching the sunrise from Grandview Point. Several other folks had the same idea and found their way there earlier. By the time we arrived, about fifteen minutes before the sun actually broke over the rim, they had already taken what were ostensibly the “best seats.”
Being blessed by a willingness to get off the beaten path, I scrambled around some of the less hazardous looking options. I took a few silhouette pictures as I maneuvered around the edge of the bluff. Just after the sun flooded that edge of the rock, I noticed a narrow box opening where one large boulder balanced against another. Their junction created a space about two feet square and a few feet long. The opening was about eight feet above the path I’d found, with a narrow ledge leading around to it. I had no idea what was on the other side.
“If I climb up there and crawl into that,” I pondered, “I could maybe catch a really neat view of the sun.”
So I worked my way carefully around the narrow ledge and climbed up into the opening. My own shadow blocked most of the light shining through. As I crawled out the opposite side, I saw a small overhang immediately to my left. About two feet high and arcing about twelve feet along its upper edge, it cut back beneath the bluff about four feet. The space was filled with a few inches of dust and small rocks. I wormed my way into it and rolled over to look back. What I saw nearly took my breath away.
The shaft of light coming through that box opening lit up the low corner of a small boulder and a patch of steep bank. Everything in that small spot seemed to glow in a golden wash of light: rocks, sticks, pine needles, lichen on the edge of the boulder. A half dozen wildflower blooms seemed ablaze with light.
When we leave the easy path and follow the unspoken leading of the Light that lives within us, we will see things that we cannot see from the usual places. We may find ourselves covered with dust and cramped in small spaces from time to time. But the perspective we gain will be sublime, illuminated by a divine presence that we witness when we look beyond ourselves. When we allow the love of Christ to live within us, we may see the most common things attain a glory that we never expected.