Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! – Psalm 95:1-6
I’ll never forget the first distant sight of the Big Horn Mountains. Almost exactly seven years ago, my little green car – remember? – swept around the curve on I-90 just west of Gillette, and there they were. They were an awe-inspiring sight. After hundreds of miles of rolling prairie and sweeping Black Hills vistas, the mountains meant I was almost there.
I was moving to Sheridan, Wyo., to start a new life after college. And those mountains became an anchor. They were a visible marker, always stretching around to the south and west. When I was returning from traveling, I welcomed the first distant outline of their ragged silhouette; it was a sign I was almost home.
Home it became for the short year I lived there – and home it will always be, in a way. Not just because of the place, but also because of the people, which includes my former pastor and his family.
After Rapid City, we stayed for one night with them. It was great to catch up, hear how things were going in town and then show my friends around. We toured Kendrick Park, Kendrick Mansion – I’d never actually gotten a chance to tour it when I lived there – and wandered around downtown.
I also showed them where I used to live: a big three-story Victorian right at the entrance of Kendrick Park called Chrysalis Manor.When we mentioned it to the curator at the mansion, she responded wryly, “I think just about everybody in Sheridan has lived there at some point.”
Then we topped it off with a hike through Tongue River Canyon. It used to be one of my favorite spots to go when I lived in Sheridan. It’s not a difficult hike at all – but that’s a good thing, because the views are very distracting (pictured above and right).
Now that we’re in the mountains, I’m comforted. There’s something solid about their presence. And it’s a reminder of God’s power – because even something so majestic is but a small glimpse of His might.