The word glory has always puzzled me. It’s one of those words that is used often in religious conversations, but do we know what it means? Last week Lollie and I were in Cape Town with some of our favorite people in the whole wide world. We spent the day driving to Cape Point, Table Mountain and the waterfront at Cape Town’s harbor. The drive is one of the most scenic you can imagine.
On our way we listened to ‘Everything glorious’ by David Crowder. One of the interesting things about the word glory is that epistemologically it comes from the word ‘weight’. We even have a way to express this. When we see or experience something significant we will sometimes say , ‘that’s heavy’. When we say that God is full of glory, or glorious we are saying that it carries weight (think of CS Lewis’ famous essay entitled “The weight of glory”).
So there we were, seeing things that carried enormous weight. Things so beautiful that ‘your eyes stand the chance of popping out of your head.’ Earth is crammed with the weight of our creator. I would like to share three pictures with you that reflect the glory of it all.
This is a picture of Cape Point. While we were there the wind gusted with immense strength. At some points it would tug so hard that it felt like a three-year-old trying to pull you down with a request for some candy. The Point is one of those amazing places – also known as the Two Oceans because of the convergence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Standing at this point made me feel small – it was heavy. Hundreds of tourists stood and the constant clicking of cameras attested to the fact that everyone there realized the sacred raw beauty of the place. Like most things glorious it’s not possible to really capture the weight on paper.
The second picture is shared from the top of Table Mountain:
A cable car took us to the top of the mountain. It’s an ingenious ride that offers everyone an equal view thanks to a turning floor. While you’re ascending the mountain you do a 360 degree turn. The view from the top is truly breathtaking- another way we describe glory. Seeing the city of Cape Town nestled below with the Atlantic engulfing it is another heavy sight. In the background you can see Robben Island – the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. On the left-hand side you can see Lion’s Head. Standing on this platform with my wonderful wife drinking in the view connected me with something or rather Someone glorious.
One of the things that struck me bu surprise when we were on the mountain was the beauty of people. While we sat in the cafeteria an older lady sat across me. Her face showed the lines of life, highways of experience. In an age that strives for perpetual youth her beauty stood out – humans are made to be glorious.
The third picture was my favorite for this day:
Our American friends bought a bird book and took it with them on the trip. When one travels with bird watchers you find yourself implicated in the joys and frustrations of their hobby. It awakens you to a whole new world! The world of glorious birds. Naming these creatures brings them out of their prison of obscurity. On this trip I was reawakened to the glory that flies around us. While we were on Table Mountain we were struck by the sheer magnificence of the views. And then there was the playful chatter of the sunbirds. On top of the mountain they were adventuring through the fynbos. Out came the book and we tried our best to name our little friend. It was the highlight of my day.
Glory comes in different packages, all of them designed to point us to the one of Ultimate Weight.