…By Wambui

Have you ever felt God so near you that you could almost hear Him breathing?  Have you ever felt so surrounded by Him that the sheer intensity of His presence made you shudder?

Mt. Kilimanjaro, almost six kilometres above sea level - the highest point in Africa.

My experience was much unexpected.  It was on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, almost six kilometres above sea level – the highest point in Africa.  It was the fourth day of our expedition; we had been walking all night to reach the summit, and were hungry, cold and utterly exhausted.  I dragged my feet to the edge of the cliff to get a good view of the landscape below.  As (bad) luck would have it, our pace had been too slow, so the sun was already high up, and had caused thick clouds to form below us.  Instead of seeing the land below, all I could see was clouds – layer upon layer of clouds.  I was disappointed.

Just as I resigned myself to accepting that I would see nothing but thick clouds below, out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement.  It was not one of the people in the expedition; it was the movement of clouds right in front of me.  These were not the thick clouds I had been staring at far below; they were light wisps of water vapour right at my eye’s level.  Then I realised what was happening.  The moisture laden wind blowing across the plain was now blowing up the cliff at whose edge I was standing, cooling and forming clouds right before my eyes.  

The first was God as a child playing happily with bubbles which floated upwards into beautiful formations.

Two images came to my mind simultaneously.  The first was God as a child playing happily with bubbles which floated upwards into beautiful formations.  The second was God standing right next to me – a renowned musician conducting the symphony of nature. Then He looked at me and smiled, and I shuddered.  The raw power of that moment made me shudder and all I could think was, “O Lord, my God. How majestic is your name in all the earth.”  It could have been my untamed imagination playing tricks on me, but at that moment, I felt like I was sitting right next to God when he said, “Let there be light.”

To this day, whenever I remember that moment, I find myself smiling.  I’m still surprised at how I had such an amazing experience at a time when I was at my worst – exhausted, frost-bitten, sunburnt, hungry and disappointed.  It also makes me ask myself why I should be afraid of death, if dying means that I’ll experience that moment every day. 

 I don’t have the answer to that question.  All I know is that the answer will come when I least expect it.