Light Notes

Worship can happen in front of glacier

When I was a little girl, there were two things I never was allowed to miss: making my bed each day and church on Sunday.

Good habits die hard, so on our recent cruise to Alaska I could almost hear my late mother’s voice saying, “Did you make your bed?”

I’d look around our minuscule stateroom filled with wall-to-wall bed and realize how tidy it would look if I’d just straighten the crumpled sheets.

But a much louder voice overrode my childhood training.

“What are you doing making the bed?” my husband Bill’s voice boomed from the hallway. “Come on, I’m starving! And besides, that’s what the cabin assistant gets the tip for at the end of the trip.”

I had to admit he was right. Besides, I couldn’t quite get the bath towels to look like a bunny or a monkey with sunglasses anyway.

And so it went all week. By the time we’d get back from breakfast, stuffed to the gills each day, the room would be spotless, a diminutive masterpiece — and not a word from my mother.

But come Sunday, the next to the last day of our cruise, I could have sworn I heard a whisper.

“When’s the last time you were in Worship?” a gentle thought breathed across my heart.

I had to stop and think about it.

There’d been the rush to get to the cruise ship so I’d missed church that Sunday.

And then the week before that one, we’d been away visiting grandkids. Now, we were coming up on — oh my! — the third week.

I reflected on how as a child, I’d once worn a 10-year perfect attendance pin. But as I remembered, when we were beach camping or off in the woods on vacation, Mother would gather us together, get out her Bible as we inhaled the fresh air, and we’d meet God right there on vacation.

It counted just the same.

So on Sunday, as we headed up the fjord on our way to the glaciers, Bill and I went topside to catch the view. The azure waters were smooth and the mountains mirrored in their depth. Sea otters preened midst ice floes, while the ship edged closer to the glacier.

Then, the Coral Princess paused while we stared in awe. A sheer wall of ice stood silently in the pristine wilderness—a breathtaking sight.

In the quiet, Bill turned to me, “Can I hear you singing?”

Caught up in the moment, the words had come unbidden, “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art . . . how great thou art.”

There are times when Sunday worship happens, even when we’re not sitting in the church pew.