I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. To witness the beauty, the majesty God created with just a river’s flow. Steady. Relentless. Constant.
While the unpredictable, hurried, forces like hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis, break havoc, masterpieces of nature are found in the steady.
A quiet, drenching rain soaking rich soil.
The appearance of pinpoint lights in the dark sky every night.
The magnificent display of green tones as winter slips away.
Pinks and purples and whites of wildflowers each spring.
Smooth stones with rough edges rubbed away by the tumble of ocean waves.
An early morning sunrise with its soft hues and gentle waking of the earth.
Because the sun never ceases to rise, hope never ceases to be found. Hope lies in the constant. In its beauty.
Yet, the thing about constants is we often don’t understand their power until they’re gone. During my college years in a large city of lights, I never knew how much I missed the stars until I came home, where, in my rural community, they lit the night sky.
In recent days, a constant in my life has slipped away. My church family and I are grieving the loss of one of our pastors. And throughout my life, while many pastors have come and gone, he has been the steady, unmovable, constant force.
Pastor Skip has been my pastor for 30 years.
As a young girl during a Christmas cantata rehearsal, I remember sitting at his feet under the vivid lights of the evergreen as he placed white ornaments all around, explaining the significance of each one. The history of an ichthus is embedded in my mind because he told it to me.
When in college and the world challenged my faith with powerful, hurried forces, I called Pastor Skip. Because I knew logical answers that required faith would be given—answers that mattered in the real world.
In my mid-twenties, I sat across his desk, looking at his bright smile, asking if seminary was the right choice. He knew me. He knew my call. He knew my passions. But he didn’t tell me what decision to make.
He said, “When God is asking you to do something, He doesn’t leave it alone. It’s not a fleeting thought. Rather, it keeps coming back.”
Because God is constant.
I went to seminary.
His words of wisdom still whisper in my soul.
And so yesterday, as I drove from work, with the tears of my soul filling my eyes, only one word floated through my heart, and the power of that word began to resonate. One word that describes my beloved pastor.
Our lives are impacted most powerfully by the steady. It’s not the flashy, loud, thunderous moments that mold us beautiful. And while roaring may set us in motion, it is the constant that smoothes our rough edges and blooms the fragrant flowers of our soul.
I want to be a constant. To be the person who is always there, in the background, creating space for lives to be made beautiful. To flow steady, offering the safe place for questions and doubt to softly land. To step away, allowing room for others to realize their significance.
The constant is the beauty of our world. Whether it be a river flowing through rock or the life of one who forms magnificent canyons in our souls—canyons which deepen our understanding and widen our compassion, it is the constant that changes our world and brightens our tomorrows.
Because the Son always rises, bringing with Him relentless hope.
This is the legacy Pastor Skip leaves me.