Chalet Window View of the Alps

View from Chalet Window in Gimmelwald, Switzerland. Photo by David Robinson

From Cloud Devotion, JUNE 28

When Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. DANIEL 6:10

Like a person who lives in a chalet nestled in an alpine meadow, some contemplatives view the glory of the lofty sacred mountains without exerting much effort. With a quick glance out the chalet window, their meditation may be either of the valleys plunging down into their own human frailty, or of mountains soaring above in God’s eternal goodness. They do not require the long climbing labor of reading and study to arrive at these visions. Rather, they are given sudden epiphanies and unexpected intuition as a gift from God not based upon any human achievement. A person may either look downward into the valley of their own sorrows, or upward into the heights of sacred goodness. As long as you are stirred by God’s grace and guided by wisdom, both visions have something valuable to teach the human soul.

REFLECTION QUESTION: From what window in your home do you most enjoy the view?

In our home in Cannon Beach, we have the glorious gift of looking out upon forest greens in nearly every window, including Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedar, and Western Red Alder trees.

While hiking in the Swiss Alps in the summer of 2019, we stayed in a mountain chalet with a stunning view of the alps. The room was cramped, with such low ceilings that I couldn’t fully stand up, and often bumped my head into the wooden beams. But when I looked out that window, my soul soared into the glorious realms above, with the beauty of the Alps.

The contemplative life may be like living in a cramped, little room, that is all dark until you discover there is a window that has been shuttered. Open the shutters by calling upon Christ, using a simple phrase or word from Scripture, or just call out “Jesus!” He will come to help you open the shutters, to allow you to begin to experience in your daily prayer life the glories of God’s beautiful presence high soaring above you.

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