Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Small Patch of Blue - Laycock

The day had been grey and dreary from beginning to end, a fine drizzle of rain falling continually, creating a thickening mist that shifted and swallowed all in its path. We were to drive to the high point on The Dome behind Dawson City, Yukon, the next morning and I prayed the morning sun would banish the fog and let us see the stunning view of the Klondike Valley. I hadn’t seen it for many years and I longed for the exhilaration it had always given me when I lived there.

But the next morning was not sunny. The fog lingered.

“Let’s go up anyway,” my husband said, “at least as far as the cemetery.” I knew what he intended. The cemetery held the graves of two good friends, men in their twenties who had taken their own lives in a suicide pact many years before. Their deaths had been the catalyst to the beginning of the journey that led us to faith in Jesus.

We parked the car at the gate and wandered among the graves, noting some names we recognized from years gone by, noting how young some of them had been when death claimed their mortal bodies.

We found the graves we were looking for – one marked by the idler wheel of a D6 Cat, the other by the front frame of another piece of heavy machinery. I watched quietly as my husband pushed scrub brush away so we could see their names welded on the unusual headstones. Memories of that time brought a quietness to the place.
Neither of us wanted to head back to town so we continued up the dirt road as it wound its way to the top.

The peak of the Dome was above the clouds so we looked down on the grey shifting mist, watching as it slowly began to dissipate. A small patch of blue appeared. Part of the Yukon River. I was puzzled at first when I saw it emerge. At this point in the river’s course, the Yukon is not blue. It’s a milky grey, filled with the silt from a river upstream. Then I looked up and realized the river was reflecting the blue sky above it, slowly being revealed as the clouds moved away.

I thought of all the people who had come into our lives at that time of death and tragedy, people who prayed with us and guided us toward the truth about life, death and eternity. And I smiled. They themselves were just ordinary people, living ordinary lives in an isolated place, but they were reflecting something from beyond themselves. Something that glowed with the colour of vibrancy and life – the very face of God.

I pray that will be the case in my life and in everything I write. Though it may have little that is called extraordinary in its pages, though it may exist in a world filled with shifting fog, may it be a reflection of truth, flowing with the colour of true life, able to translate into healing, able to reflect the love of a holy God. May it draw my readers along, as that small patch of blue river below us did, to a place where they will meet Him and know Him, just a little bit more than they did before.

"And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1Cor.15:49).

Marcia Lee Laycock is a writer/speaker from Central Alberta. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone, will be released this fall. Her devotional book, Spur of the Moment is available on her website -


Peter Black said...

Marcia, thank you for this personal, poignant, and picturesque reflection.
I suspect from this piece that you and your hubby had a sense of standing on holy ground as you visited the burial sites of your friends (especially in view of the role their deaths played in your coming to faith and new life in Jesus), and also a feeling of wonder at the break in the fog and the reflected "small patch of blue."

Marcia said...

Yes, indeed, Peter. Though Dawson is, in a way, a very Godless place, there are many spots there I would consider holy ground because of what God has done. It's amazing what he can redeem ... even "a wretch like me!"

violet said...

I love your description of this place - so raw and real. Beautiful devotional.

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