My husband, Marshall, proposed to me nearly 14 years ago on Waldo Canyon Trail with the Colorado Mountains as our backdrop. We began our day on the side of Cheyenne Mountain—first taking in the view at the Will Rogers Shrine followed up by a visit to the Cheyenne Zoo where we fed the giraffes.
After a quick lunch, we continued what I’ve since dubbed the day-long proposal, taking in the glorious shades of red rock in the Garden of the Gods. We wrapped up our adventure with a hike through Marshall’s favorite ravine. Throughout the day I kept hoping this would be the moment he would get down on one knee and propose. With each delightful activity, I held my breath only to exhale with disappointment when we left without occasion.
As we approached the trail entrance to Waldo Canyon, I decided a proposal was not in my future. I began to truck up the mountain trail leaving my poor sweetheart in the dust. “It’s not about the destination,” Marshall called out to me. With an are we there yet huff, I turned to see the flash of hurt in his eyes. I slowed my pace and, with renewed perspective, joined my companion on the trail. He guided me to his favorite spot—one in which he spent his time praying and worshipping God. As the sun began its descent, Marshall timed his bended knee and asked me to be his. And I almost missed it.
In the book of John, we read about the many miracles Jesus performed—all that we might “believe that Jesus is the Christ,” (John 20:30). Though the murmurs of the crowd were, “Could he be the Messiah?” the priests could not believe Jesus to be anything but a demon-possessed man. While they were trucking up their mountain in search of the conquering king, they were confronted with the suffering servant in the ravine.
In looking for the Messiah, they completely missed Him—called for his crucifixion even—and then sat down to a Passover meal in which they remembered the blood on the doorposts. The same doorposts which foreshadowed what they had witnessed that very afternoon—the sacrificed lamb of God.
Reflecting back on the day my husband proposed, I realize now that every stop along the way to Waldo Canyon was a demonstration of his love for me. The words, “Will you marry me?” took mere seconds to utter but the question loomed in the air hours before its asking. Christ left signs of his love through the miracles he performed, the parables he taught, and the life he lived. However, the priests and Pharisees couldn’t see these demonstrations of love.
Don’t miss his love. Don’t miss how he demonstrated his love in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8). Might we do the same in the way we interact with others? In the way we speak to those with whom we agree? And more importantly with those with whom we have a disagreement? In the regular act of communion, we partake of the juice and wafer to remember what Christ has done on the cross. Paul cautions us to examine our hearts. In this moment of reflection, it can be tempting to compare our lives to others and like the Pharisee, thank God that we are not like the tax collector—or neighbor living in sin, or misguided co-worker, or the friend with an opposing political view (Luke 18:9-14). But if we do, we’ve become like the Pharisees as we feast at the table of communion mindlessly adhering to the words “do this in remembrance of me” when we have, in fact, completely missed the point.