Sedona: A Serendipitous Journey
Very nice -- there is something about unfettered rambling that appeals to our native past. We were all once nomads. The soul of the desert southwest is more apparent than in other places I've been, maybe because it is relatively empty and you can see the bone and muscle of the landscape much easier. I've not been to Sedona but I hope to visit in the next year. Thank's for reminding me.
Certainly, I've experienced some serendipitous revelations, often when dog-walking in the country and there's an opportunity for discovery and time to put life in perspective. But a couple of years before my husband died in 2003, he became extremely fatigued and had a degree of back pain. It was eventually diagnosed as polymyalgia and steroids were prescribed which seemed to help. In 2002, we went on a pilgrimage to Padua (his middle name was Anthony). That pilgrimage, more than others, deepened my understanding of dependency on God and how this world is a mere shadow, a place of ciphers. It also brought home to me even tangible possibilities of Grace, which confirmed my belief in the Virgin birth. Human knowledge of physics is minimal, but Love can change how we experience the course of events, and can even transform them into something else. I can't well explain this, except to say that happenings that were almost subliminal became connected into big picture and there was a vibrant kind of peace. It set me up for what was in store.
During our stay, I noted that my husband was losing weight (which he denied) and I became alarmed. As soon as we got home, he fell seriously ill, rapidly becoming disabled from a tumour on the spine. There was no recommendation for surgery. He was handed over to palliative care, hospitalised for a couple of weeks, and returned home. They had told him he had only a week or two. As it happened, the time left to us was gruelling, but strangely blessed, and consumed in the practical matters of every day. Whatever there was to celebrate was in moments, not hours. Somehow I was filled with a Hope beyond ordinary hope. I felt we were cradled and supported by what can only be described as a third presence in the house. My husband lived for seven more months. There's no telling where the strength came from during that time, especially after a long series of previous crises.
As you say, God is a Rock, and that's an all-embracing metaphor for every aspect of life, come what may. My 'go to' is "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20
This link about the Padua pilgrimage might give a little insight:
Your quote of "I waited for the Lord" struck a chord with me, but I couldn't think why until I remembered - I have sung the Mendelssohn duet. A good memory for me. Any journey that leaves us more aware is precious, isn't it? through a place or a book or a memory.