Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland


I went to see the Northern Lights. I never thought I would type or say that in my life. I just got back from an incredible journey with my Maman and my brother, Eric. We went to visit Reykjavik, Iceland, for a long weekend. Who says that?! I never thought in my wildest dreams, it would be me. And yet, I just said it and now I'm reading it in print. It really happened!

My only other lifetime reference to Northern Lights was when anchorman Steve Smith from KHOU Channel 11 did an editorial after hearing me read the Passion on Palm Sunday in 1985, when I was hugely pregnant with our twin daughters. He said that I read the Passion with the "glow of the Northern Lights" and he couldn't decide if it was from the word or the eminent new life I was carrying within me. I never knew he did the editorial until long after it was aired, when the church called to tell me. I was so touched by his comments, but had no idea of the meaning of his description until I stood in the parking lot of a national park mesmerized by they beauty I was beholding before me. WOW. 

Wow, in fact, is how it all started...the journey to the Lights that is. My brother called one night as I was walking into my MWC Meeting, hands full of my meeting gear, laptop and pulling a crate, surrounded by other fellow members helping me get set up at the church for our meeting. My bro rarely calls, so when I saw it was him, I answered. "I am going to take Maman (our French mother) to see the Northern Lights in Iceland - Do you wanna go?" I should have just said "YES!"  I learned that lesson later. But instead I said, "Can I call you after our meeting?", which cost me an additional $250. Wow Airlines, Yes WOW Airlines, was opening a hub in LA, offering promotional fares, and we could fly to Reykjavik for $500 round trip ($750 in my case because I waited and didn't say "yes" right away).

Reykjavik, Iceland at Sunset

So months later, after I lost my job at Stewart, and was unemployed, off we went to see the Northern Lights and visit Iceland. We really did it! It was an amazing journey. The colors, the geography,the culture, the people, everything was wonderful, and colorful and breathtaking.  We loved every second of our trip. It was truly a trip of a lifetime.

When I was standing in the Lights, I was overwhelmed by glory. His glory mostly, but also how my camera and my mind couldn't really even begin to fathom what I was seeing and feeling. It was so bright, so colorful, so purple, so green. The stars were so bright and we were so small. And yet, there we were, in the middle of the night, standing way out in the Icelandic countryside beholding of an amazing site. We were His chosen ones that day. The ones He had chosen to be there at that very instant to see those amazing lights. I stood there speechless, inept with my camera, wishing I had spent months trying to capture what I was taking in, but I could not. I couldn't begin to explain, much less capture the true beauty of the Northern sky. It was, well, it was "WOW".

I thought so much about lights and love that night. All the million of little things that had happened in my life to allow me to be standing in His presence on that very day in His Light. In fact, of the three nights we were in Iceland, it was the only night that the lights even showed up. The tour we were on was cancelled the following two nights. It made me realize that I was so blessed, and so delighted to be among the chosen ones for this Epiphany of color and light.

It moved me. It changed me. It grew me. It made me realize that everything I am belongs to such a bigger thing. This thing we call life, and family and friends and our earth. I'm a part of it. A very minuet part of it I might add, but part of it none the less. It made me realize  we do indeed have light in darkness. We are never alone. And all this, all we are, where we are and what we are doing, is divinely orchestrated. We just have to show up and be there. He's waiting on us.

It also confirmed what I knew all along, in this widow's walk, that I want to live. I want to love. I want to give. I want to share. And I want to enjoy every single second we are given to the MAX! I want to live my life outloud. I want to care, and to cry and to carry on. I don't want to waste another single minute wondering what my purpose is or who I am; because I am all I need to be right now. Right here. In this place. He brought me here and He will lead me there. Wherever it is, I'm ready to go and He is already there. In the lights, in the sky, in a church, over a waterfall. He is with me, beside me, leading me every single step of the way, every single day of my life. I know it and I felt it and I saw it...In the Northern Lights that night in the dark. I felt it, overlooking the Gullfoss waterfall and I heard him, inside the Hallgrimskirkja cathedral. He surrounds us. He is with us always.  Just look around you. I'm sure you'll find Him. 

     Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral

John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, 

and the darkness has not overcome it.

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