I stood at the edge of the loch-side
And felt a dark chill in the air.
I sensed an oppressive foreboding
Surrounding the scenery there.
The dark swirling water in anger
Whipped up in its fury each crest
As the wind and the storm hovered o’erhead
Dispensing a dark’ning unrest.
The sentry black mountains pressed closer
In towering presence and might
And surrounded the quivering water,
Opposing all brightness and light.
Even the trees by the loch-side
Took up a cold menacing stance,
Then they shook and they waved in a frenzy
Of wild uncontrollable dance.
I shivered. The scene that I witnessed
Gripped my soul with a dark’ning despair,
As I stood at the edge of the loch-side
And heard the storm’s scream rent the air.
I stood once again at the loch-side
With the warmth of the sun on my face
And beheld, with increasing amazement,
A vision of transforming grace:
The colourful sentry-like mountains
With jew’lled shades of many’ a hue
Shone purple and green, red and orange,
‘Gainst a backdrop of cloudless bright blue.
The trees at the edge of the lakeside,
So varied in shape and design,
Wore proudly their green robes of beauty,
As they basked in the glist’ning sunshine.
But one sight outshone all the others,
Exquisite in clear purity:
The loch, once thick black, tossed and angry,
Was now just as still as could be.
And there in a mirror reflection
Each tree and each mountain and hill
Shone back with rich colour and beauty
From water translucent and still.
I marvelled at such transformation.
A miracle change had occurred.
Yet whilst I pondered this wonder
I thought that a whisper I heard:
‘You’re astounded by such alteration?
You’re stunned with surprise by this view?
Be still in your heart, my dear loved one,
And let it speak volumes to you:
The depth and the chill of the darkness,
The storm clouds so heavy and grey
Are echoes of times when you wander
Far off from the light of my way.
Torn, buffeted, then by the fury
Of forces that fill you with fear,
You’re tossed back and forth in a tempest,
With thunder assaulting your ear.
My child, be still for a moment,
Gaze now on the beauty you see
Then ask yourself simply one question:
Just how did this change come to be?’
‘The loch unprotesting and tranquil
Now contented, lies low and serene,
And gazes on unbroken sunshine
With no cloud or barrier between.
Unpolluted and clean is the water,
And no murky effluent stirs,
The loch gives itself to the sunlight
And a beautiful wonder occurs:
A looking-glass scene of reflection,
Double-vision of pure clarity,
An upside-down, clean, sparkling mirror
Reflecting each mountain and tree.
The water does not have to struggle,
To labour, to stress and to strive
To maintain an amazing reflection,
To keep the clear likeness alive.
Instead, it just rests with a stillness,
Pleased to dwell in its deep lowly place
At the foot of the towering mountains,
With the kiss of the sun on its face.’
I silently bowed low in worship,
From this scene I ne’er wished to depart.
And from the Mount of His Presence
God continued to speak to my heart:
‘Keep looking, keep gazing on Jesus,
His wondrous forgiveness and grace,
His humility, kindness and mercy,
The death that He died in your place.
Fill your vision with His love and goodness,
Not with the wrongs you have done,
My longing, dear child, is that you’ll be
Conformed to grow more like My Son.
Then your life will be a reflection
And others will witness and see
Not you, but the beauty of Jesus,
His compassion and His purity.’
I knelt at the edge of the lochside,
For there on the green grassy sod,
I had learned a clear message from nature,
I had heard the clear voice of my God.
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