Although I know I am biased, I must confess that I live in what I believe to be the most beautiful place on earth. At the very least, I’m certain that there is no place more beautiful. The mountains of western North Carolina are breathtaking.
As a child, I remember when we would come to the mountains to visit my grandmothers, cousins and assorted aunts and uncles, my parents would often say we were ‘going home.’ In the strictest sense, my home wasn’t here, but my ancestral home certainly was. At the first sight of the beautiful blue ridges on the horizon, my father would say: I lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth. I was certain that God was in the mountains in a way unlike anywhere else and, in my heart, I always equated the sight with True Home.
Now, many years later, I am a pastor in a small semi-rural parish about an hour west of Asheville. I never dreamed I would actually call this place home. Everywhere I look, there are mountains. Rising and falling, like great green and blue waves moving imperceptibly. Mysterious and charming veiled round in mist and, some days, even clouds. Layer upon layer of blue ridges seemingly infinite in number.
They form the background, or perhaps the very heartbeat of life in this small mountain town.