Glacier! by Colleen Earp

On Sunday we visited Huaytapallana glacier, up around 15,000 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains of Peru. It wasn’t just the altitude that had me short of breath and dizzy though; this was a truly awesome sight.


The glacier itself has very sadly lost a great deal of its mass, and is predicted to be gone completely in less than two decades. It was small, tucked on the top of a beautiful peak, overlooking a lagoon and thin waterfall comprised of its own melt water, beside an enormous, still valley. The entire scene was completely breathtaking.


My background is in geography, so I get excited by contemplating how this place was formed, and how it has changed, and will continue to do so. As I sat on a stone taking it all in (and catching my breath), I was struck by the bigger picture of it all. These mountains and their snow caps have existed for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, long before I was so blessed to come to this place.


And long after I’m gone, long after Huaytapallana glacier is gone, these mountains will continue to be. Even after the Andes are done being mountains, and have crumbled into rocks and spill and begin the whole process over, they will still be here in some form, just as God was and is and ever will be—the same God who created the mountain, and the glacier, and the me standing beside it. What a wonderful reminder of the whole point of our presence here in Peru this week, to bring glory to that same God with witness, partnership, and action focused on caring for all of creation.


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