Posted by: Donna Douglass | Wednesday June 8, 2011

the heights of Chamonix

From here looking back, the story shows more of itself.

Somewhere in Norway, Jacob practiced law while weighed down with questions about the greater, unseen things of life. His childless wife, Mary, avoids church in part because of scars caused by people’s comments that children are God’s blessing. Both wonder where God is in all of this. In the meantime, they travel often. This time, their wanderings led them to Chamonix.

On this morning, an Indian couple stops to take a picture of a Christian’s cute toddler. The Christian observes the unusual incident, looking for what God might be doing there. The Spirit holds His silence. Not perceiving God’s work there, the Christian turns back to his own group of family and friends. They have learned that high altitude will prevent his daughter from being permitted on the gondola that climbs to just below the peak of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe. Without thinking, he chooses his wife’s happiness over his own, volunteering to watch their baby in town while she rises to the heights that make her heart sing in chorus with God’s glacial beauty in those dazzling, desolate places.

Moments later, as the cable car climbs away, the Spirit smiles. The smile warms the Christian’s heart; he feels the Spirit’s approval. He has chosen to sacrifice for his family, and his sacrifice pleases God. A tear of gratitude wells in his eye as he turns into a quiet coffee shop with a sunny outside deck in the back. Just as he finishes sharing a cup of coffee with his daughter, Jacob and Mary sit down nearby. An island of English in a sea of French, the three adults strike up a conversation that rapidly turns to children, to God’s blessings and to God Himself. The Spirit nudges the Christian. “This couple,” He says.

Jacob, a self-proclaimed academic, struggles to reconcile the concept of God with academia and the intellect. For the first time, he has met a Christian on a comparable academic level and it shakes his soul.

Two hours and untold depths later, the Christian’s wife returns, followed shortly by their friends. They meet Jacob and Mary briefly, then leave the Christian alone to finish his conversation with them. He asks to pray for them. They accept. Discomfort and the glow of feeling loved compete for their hearts: they’ve never heard someone pray for them before.

After the prayer, Jacob is a bit surprised to find himself giving the Christian a sincere hug of appreciation before they part paths. The experience of being loved by God has made something in his soul shift. As the Christian moves deliberately up the street to rejoin his friends, the Spirit speaks again. “You just might see them again,” He says, “here in Heaven.”

Hidden by sunglasses, allergies and the drizzling sky, a few tears slide from the Christian’s eyes. Even as he walks in a stunning alpine village beside his beloved wife and child, his heart is driven to its knees in thanksgiving – that the Lord of all would so use him – and more than that, would so confirm his meager sacrifice with such a message of hope! Among all those in this little group, the Christian alone has soared to the highest heights of all: to the heights of eternal consequence.


  1. […] We’d also appreciate your prayer for the Norwegian/American couple (Mary and Jacob) Slick shared the Gospel with in Chamonix last weekend. Jacob so appreciated Slick’s prayer for them that he hugged him after the “amen.” Pray that God would continue to draw them to Himself and that they would respond to His wooing. (Read the story here.) […]

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