Reflections, Part 1: God’s Place on the Water (Norway)

The past few months have been a huge blessing to me; I cannot thank God enough for providing me with such amazing opportunities that I, more or less, did not deserve. It would be foolish of me if I neglected sharing with you these emotions, events, and places. Every moment has planted something new inside of me, and each person, shared an everlasting light.

If you did not hear from me at all this past May, I promise I had a valid reason. I also had a legitimate excuse for missing Mother’s Day as well as my mother’s birthday—which conveniently fell on the same week this year.
During the month of May I toured through Scandinavia performing concerts with the Anderson University Chorale. Norway was the first stop on our international tour; the trip spanned Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
It’s hard to pin an adjective to Norway: regal, mountainous, and below zero come to mind. Okay, so the temperature wasn’t quite below zero. But we did drive through the tundra, which averages somewhere around -18°F. Arriving in Bergen clothed in a jacket, heavy winter coat, scarf, and gloves made for an ironic “summer” break.
After the first few days of tour we arrived at Gudvangen Fjordtell, a small hostel hidden amidst an innumerable amount of magnificent, snow-capped mountains. The few days we spent at Gudvangen were perhaps some of the most memorable days on our international tour.
Gudvangen is Norwegian for “God’s place on the water,” because, as you can see in the photograph above, Gudvangen is the bay of a majestic valley of Fjords. The Fjords are a collection of deep bodies of seawater caught between mountains and cut out by glaciers. Gudvangen was so serene and overwhelming that you could sense God’s peace over the entire scene. The mountains were surreal; at times the snowy caps appeared to be a Hollywood backdrop rather than reality.
In the midst of the mountains was a small white steeple. Our fearless and talented bus driver Tero safely navigated down a rocky one-way mountain road to get us to the secluded spot housing the church. In the middle of the silence we sang through a few pieces to an audience of One.
The morning after we took a three-hour ferry trip through the Fjords. At times I couldn’t help but simply sit and stare, resolute.

Sometimes the miracle of God’s creation cannot suffice words.

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