Hike to Hope

(This reflection was first recorded for Good Morning Scotland’s Thought for the Day by Very Reverend Dr Alan McDonald on 23 August 2016.)

“A friend who works for a charity I’ve been involved with for a long time recently came up with a great idea. Wendy wanted sponsorship to climb a mountain, and invited people to help. She needed to raise money for Christian Aid’s Refugee Crisis Appeal.

Wendy and 40 supporters reach the summit of Ben Hope

So, at the weekend, 40 of us joined her to climb Scotland’s most northerly Munro. We set off in the mist, accompanied by some of the fiercest midges that I’ve ever encountered. And although not the highest Munro, it was a true test of our resolve, because it started at sea level and just went straight up.

As we approached the summit the fog got much thicker, and at times it really was quite difficult to see the way ahead. However, there was relief at the top as we munched our sandwiches and peered through the swirling clouds.

And then, suddenly, the mist began to lift. The views were spectacular, and just got better and better as we made our descent. And yes, you’ve guessed it, the midges were waiting for us at the bottom. But after breath-taking views on the way down, they somehow didn’t seem quite so bad.

The mountain we’d been climbing was Ben Hope. Wendy had chosen it deliberately because she wanted us to think about the difficult journeys that so many refugees are making at present. Walking up the mountain was challenging, but it was a walk in the park, compared to the roads travelled by the men, women and children currently fleeing for their lives.

As we climbed the mountain called Hope, some of us were remembering the words from the Bible about the gifts that last forever, like love, faith, and hope. Sometimes, words can inspire us to move mountains.”

Wendy’s next sponsored walk will be an expedition through the Great Wilderness in the Highlands in September. Check out the Another Way events to find out how to join her.