Before my junior year in high school I went with my church youth group on a mission trip to Colorado. I vividly remember one Sunday morning our youth leaders maneuvered the two white fifteen passenger vans up a steeply winding road to the summit of Pike’s Peak. We tumbled out of the vans into the thin atmosphere, sky so blue it made your eyes ache. The piles of snow scattered about belied the warm June morning. We came together for a homegrown church service, just a few Bible verses followed by a song. As we chorused Amazing Grace we were one with our maker, on the top of the world, young and unashamed. And a remarkable thing happened, those who were on the mountain with us joined the song. The voices of our brothers and sisters in Christ, people we won’t likely meet until the next life, co-mingling their voices with ours in praise and gratitude to our savior. As the song ended we all nodded, smiling to each other before going our separate ways.
Thanks to my dad, I’ve been hiking up mountains for as long as I remember. As children, my brother and I would trot along ahead of him, hopping over mossy logs and slippery rocks, racing to the mountain top. Once, when I was …