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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Mountains (09/20/04)

TITLE: Un-Captured Beauty
By Teresa Lee Rainey


My parents drove all the way from Florida this summer for their first visit to Nebraska. Although they had driven for three days straight, it had always been a desire of my mom’s to see Mt. Rushmore, and we were only eight hours away. We felt a further road trip was necessary.

The scenery on the way to Mt. Rushmore was beautiful. Northern Nebraska is certainly not the flat land I had believed it to be. There were many large, open fields, but there were also incredible hills and impressive valleys.

Once we were in South Dakota, the sites were even more spectacular. We slowly made our way through the national parks in search of prairie dogs, buffalo, chipmunks, mountain goats, and any other wild creatures we could find. My trusty camera was at my side and my trigger finger was happy.

When we were finally able to see the mountain carvings of Mt. Rushmore, we were in awe. This sight was definitely worth two days of our time. We took the scenic trail within Mt. Rushmore’s park and I shot so many photographs that my batteries died trying to capture the magnificent views.

After the trip was over, we were anxious to see the results of my target practice. My digital camera was taken straight to a one-hour photo shop. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the difference in the mountain views we had actually seen and the photographs we now held were an amazing disappointment.

We have taken numerous photos of mountain scenes before, but I never cease to be frustrated with the results.

Maybe I have finally learned this truth . . .

Mountains hold a beauty that can only be captured fully when in their presence.

I can relate to 1 Corinthians 13:12 completely. My King James Version reads “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

When I look in the mirror, I see my own image as a woman who has made many mistakes and whose past is a mess. I see an aging, worldly shell. I see my own faults and weaknesses, and they are far from beautiful.

When God looks at me, He sees a washed clean, spotless, forgiven and beautiful child. That leaves me in a greater awe than any feeling I get at the foot of a mountain.

The excitement that I feel because of this knowledge is indescribable, but I have found a verse that I cling to for my own explanation of this joy. It is 1 John 3:2&3 (KJV) “ (2) Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

I am beginning to understand another truth. . .

My mirror holds a beauty that can only be captured fully when in God’s presence.

Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey09/27/04
OOPS! Missed a line before 'I can relate to 1 Corinthians 13:12...'

Should include "I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and think I am like those photographs of the mountains."

Guess I edited a little too eagerly this time.
John Hunt09/27/04
A wonderful reminder of God's truth.
Nice job!
L.M. Lee09/27/04
it sure will be a great day when we look in the mirror and see HIs reflection instead of our! :-)
Norma OGrady09/28/04
road trips are very revealing...
Great writing
yeshua bless
Carol Shaffron09/28/04
don't our efforts look so puny in relation to His great majesty...reminds me that it's only by His grace we can be fruitful
Glenda Lagerstedt09/29/04
Encouraging words for all of us who look in the mirror and see aging and imperfect flesh with an equally imperfect history. You lift my spirits. Thanks.
Lucian Thompson10/02/04
Teresa, I just love the way you tied this all up with your last line. Very well written. Thanks for the trip. That was about as close as I will ever get to these beautiful sites.