I was young. I don't remember how young exactly, maybe seven or so. It was near Christmas, and snow covered the mountains, hills and ridges that hem the Columbia River Gorge. It sat in fluffy heaps on the bows of the evergreens that decorate that part of the country, and made the steep gravel drive to our house on the top of a ridge somewhat treacherous.
I remember looking out the window toward the river, as I often did, and this time I looked down a bit at the ridge itself. For the most part this means peering over the peaks of tall trees, but there was one spot down the hill a ways, where a pristine little valley nestled. There was not a single footprint, no gray slush from tires, no pocks from animals even. Just pure untainted snow rimmed by stalwart trees.
Even at that age it captured some part of me. I loved the purity and longed for my own secret place, beautiful and just mine. I never told my family of it, I just hoarded the loveliness and mystery for myself. I may have been watching The Secret Garden a lot at that time, I don't recall. But day after day I would go check on the valley to see if anyone had found it, trod across it.
No one ever did.
There is a book called Captivating about the heart of womanhood and God's heart toward us of the female persuasion. It talks of this desire, this longing for something too complex for mere words to define. Romance, they call it, and yes it is. But not in the cheap sense as this world defines it, not in the bodice-ripping sense. Romance as in the desire for and calling out of one's soul by another who loves completely and revels in each facet.
The way God loves, the way he romances, us. Me. You. Zephaniah 3:17 is my new favorite verse. "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
There is a place in each soul that is designed by and for the greatest Romance ever conceived. The faithful, wild, rich, and unmeasurable love of an Almighty God. But there is also a place in that same stunning God that longs for me. For you. There is a snow-covered valley where he calls me away, just the two of us. He doesn't want from me, he wants for me. And he reveals it, more often than I notice for sure, in moments and scenes and the experiences that will always remain crisp and 3-D in my mind no matter how much time passes.
It takes my breath away. Thank you for you, a romantic God whose love never fails. For the moments you create for just us. For that valley, untainted, for whispers and glimpses of your vastness. I love you with all of me, now and forever. Please, give me more "us" moments. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and overwhelm this heart that is forever yours.