This is the second in my “Boulder Essays” series depicting a photo of Ecola Rock taken off the Oregon Coast near Tillamook, by my cousin Douglas F. Frank. This image, a copy of which hangs in my study, is a pinhole extended exposure. It makes this Rock almost come alive as the changing and rugged environment over many hours is demonstrated in it. So life is the experience of continuous exposure to the ever-changing environment within which we dwell. Ecola means, “whale” in Chinook Indians. For them the whale represented a key to their existence. It is also a powerful spiritual image of creativity and the unknown as well. Lewis and Clark visited the Tillamook area and traded for whale oil and blubber for light and energy on their expedition. There is a sculpture of a whale on the coast today commemorating their 1806 visit. “Clark’s point of view,” is the headland above the Ecola State Park that overlooks this historic spot and the Rock and the ocean expanse beyond.
Who or what is the Creator of all things necessary for life? Who is the spiritual Rock of our life? There is only One who has an infinite and all-powerful perspective as Creator, Redeemer, Provider and Defender as we trust in Him. Nature also provides a strong image of God. This is not an idol to worship but symbolic of God’s presence and power with us.
In my devotional book based on the Psalms, Great is God’s Faithfulness, I teach on the Rock hard and strong principles of God. Ecola Rock is the cover photo and I begin that book with Psalm 61:1-2, “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the ends of the earth, I call as my heart grows faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” This psalm goes on to describe God the Rock as refuge and shelter, under whose wings and protection we find love and faithfulness forever. Let the immense beauty of this stunning Rock image strengthen your faith in God’s ever-present watch like a shining lighthouse in the sea around us.