Shelter

 


Rolling through the Deer Lodge Valley in Powell County, MT, the transcon gets ever closer to the major roundhouses and yard at Deer Lodge itself.  Near Morel it continues its westbound, straight as an arrow shot through the big skies that lie between Montana's western mountain ranges.  The Rockies behind, the Bitterroots ahead and nothing but endless skies above.  

These skies bring the hope of a warm spring day, the sunshine that accompanies a Chinook wind, and the storms that blow snow and rains horizontal.  They are skies of hope and skies of dread, skies of light and skies of darkness all played out on a canvas that can never be well described.  Decades have passed since the orange and black rolled beneath these very skies.  Though different with every passing moment, they yet appear timeless as the world of men changes beneath them.  

Near the old transcon a single room building rests in a valley field.  Surrounded by rusted barbwire fencing with whitewash fading and windows boarded, it is weatherbeaten and drifting through different ages alongside the old railroad nearby.  An inscription above the boarded up door reads "The Lord's House."  Built for generations passed, pointing back instead of forward, the invitation to come and know Him feels ever humbling and without pretense as time and weather take its toll on the small building.  The mountains and skies overwatch the scene and leave the travelers like me, those who have come this way, with little excuse [1].  


1) Romans 1:20. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.  


Comments

Evan said…
I have continued reading your blog for several years, though I have seldom posted comments. If you will pardon the agregious pun, I track well with your blog.

In recent days, I have mulled over the sense that we who live on this earth are battling hard to claw our way back to comfort and "normal". But it seems that God keeps nudging "normal" farther and farther out of reach. Can we?...
Will we turn our eyes back to Him? Yesterday, after a time of prayer and listening, my wife and I ended up in Romans 1 and 2 - focally centered on Romans 1:20. Those words are as uncomfortably prominant as the vision of the weathered, one-room church featured in your photo. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us.
LinesWest said…
Evan, thank you for the note. I was a bit reluctant to take it all the way to Romans point-blank, but it was staring me in the face and I felt like I had too (I think I even told myself, "well, no one reads the blog anyway so I'll go ahead and do it..."). Probably not the first time the Lord has laughed at me a little bit. It's nice to hear that it resonated - thank you again for letting me know.

It sounds like we've been thinking and praying through similar things. "uncomfortable" is a good way to describe what I'm feeling too as I consider these things and pray for a renewed heart of compassion and rethinking in these days. Thanks again.
SDP45 said…
A very solemn scene. Seeing this, or abandoned houses, makes me think of the people who were around and gave the place life. Why did they leave? Do their descendants know about this place?

Dan

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