Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 5, 2010

Mountains of Lights

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I could not believe the sight.  Surrounding the entire city were mountains, and at night, those mountains were aglow with lights. I’ll tell you more about that.

Medellin, Colombia, the second largest city in Colombia, is located at the northern tip of the Andes mountain range.  The airport in the days of our visit was nestled among the mountains.  The end of the runway was the end!  If you did not brake sufficiently and failed to stop before reaching the end of the runway, the plane would plunge hundreds of feet down into wilderness and water.  That did not seem to be the only danger, however, of visiting this city.

Until 1993, when it was dismantled, the city was the home of the Medellin Cartel.  This was the largest organized network of “drug suppliers and drug smugglers” known.  The Cartel operated in most South American countries, Central America, and even the United States.  Because of the environment created by this Cartel, Medellin had the reputation of being the most violent city in the world.

Yet, there was another side of this city.  It was known as the city of flowers.  With the temperature and elevation of Medellin, a vast variety of flowers grew there.  The area was best known for the Aburra Valley.  The Aburra Valley is part of a natural basin that provides almost perfect conditions for ferns.  Ferns of many, many varieties can be found there.

Although we were there for other reasons, one of our great interests in being there was to dig some exotic ferns.  Judy had an unparalleled collection of ferns when we lived in Miami.  The visit to Medellin would give us opportunity to have some ferns unobtainable in the United States.  With some difficulties . . . and disagreements with locals . . . we finally dug some desired ferns.

We washed all the dirt from the ferns, and packed them in damp cloths.  We had no problem leaving the country with them . . . but it was a different story attempting to bring them into Miami.  We had to jump through some hoops with custom inspectors . . . but we finally were allowed to keep them.

It was an unusual trip . . . like most of ours.  Certainly, one to be remembered . . . the airport runway, the taxi driver who wanted to charge extra because of the trip to the Valley and digging ferns . . . the excitement in the city . . . and etc.  But one thing still is vivid in my mind.

That one thing is the mountains surrounding the city and the lights at night.  It truly was a sight to behold.  Never have I seen such! I could never adequately describe the sight, but the photograph in my mind can never be erased.  It was beautiful to see all the lights from the homes that were scattered on the mountainside.  One could almost feel he was traveling among the stars that shine in heaven.  Those lights could not be hidden.  They were for all to see!

And what a direct hit God made on my heart with that thought.  He determined that I was to shine like a star in the heavens and a light on the hill.  I am required to never hide who I am as a follower of Christ. It is my responsibility as a child of God to be a light that shines continuously in this world!

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden . . . let your light shine before me, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)  ”  .  . .  in which you shine like stars in the universe.”  (Philippians 2:15)



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