The photo Dr. Stanley took in Torres del Paine National Park reminds me of my 8 a.m. geology class in college—that is, when I wasn’t falling asleep during the lecture from waking early to arrive on time. There are lines and layers on the stone that tell of times so far in the past that my mind can’t even imagine it. Long ago, the granite towers weren’t as tall as they are now, and the species that lived around it are no longer there. The landscape is changing, but I can’t tell just by looking at it—nor could I even if I were there in person.
Sometimes I inspect the layers and worn-away places of my own life. I think about my family in Brazil and how I don’t really know about my grandparents’ parents or where we came from before their time. In fact, I actually barely know my aunts and uncles—I grew up in another country, far away from them. As time has passed, I wonder if the closeness we once shared slipped away, as the language and memories did. I often feel so removed that even when I try to bring up feelings connected with my father leaving our family or my uncles dying, they’re only shadows of feelings—as if I experience my own life in third person.
Thankfully, I am able to bring myself back when I remember that though I can’t see everything, the God who can see loves and cares for me. That while most things feel out of my control, they’re not beyond His sovereignty—and time for Him moves differently than it does for me. That He was there millions of years ago, and He will be the same thousands of years from now.
Photograph by Charles F. Stanley