Mountain View - A Father’s Gifts By Pam Payne

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Inspirational  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Yesterday my daughter gave me a picture of my grandson Jude. I had forgotten all about it. It showed him reaching out to touch a little horny toad. Seeing that picture made me smile in surprise because I remembered how much I loved horny toads. I grew up chasing and catching them as a child in Oklahoma, and had not seen one in over 35 years. That reminder also made me think of the other times God has surprised me with things I will never forget (like a daddy who brings a surprise present home for his little girl but keeps it inside his pocket until the time is just right to pull it out).

The biggest surprise God ever gave me came in the form of whales…

A couple of years ago my husband took me to a bed and breakfast near Carmel to celebrate our anniversary. It was on this trip that we went on a whale-watching excursion. I still remember it clearly….

As we waited to board the boat the captain came down to introduce himself and told us that we were in for a real treat. He said that they had not seen whales like this in over 50 years. It had something to do with the way the currents were flowing in this one particular area and how the currents were pushing up food from a deep pocket right where the whales were feeding.

I squeezed Paul’s hand and looked up at him and I am sure what he saw on my face resembled the face of a little girl on Christmas morning, and my heart raced as we boarded the boat.

About forty minutes into our boat ride the captain told us that he just got off the radio with his colleague who was already in the whale space, and that they were seeing even more whales than they had the day before. He then told us to find a spot, settle in, and start looking for the sprays that come from the blowholes. I wiggled my way up to the front of the boat, settled on a wooden plank, and leaned against the railing.

Within minutes we began to see the sprays, and then a huge body would surface and a tail would come out as the whale dove back under the water. Then, a few moments later a giant humpback came out of the water 20 feet in front of me. Its eye was parallel to mine and I could not believe the size of it! Its face was covered with bumps, and I watched it roll onto its back before it dove down, with its huge tail coming up out of the water. The force of it sprayed my face and the seawater mixed with my tears. God’s love was all over me as He reminded me how long I had carried this desire in my heart, and how happy it made Him to give this gift to me.

The captain came over the loudspeaker again and said that although humpbacks were especially playful and curious, he had not seen one get that close to his boat before.

A few minutes later the captain came back on the radio to point out a pair of blue whales about 150 feet in the distance. In his excitement he told us to watch for their sprays and that’s how we would know they were blue whales. Still overwhelmed with awe and overwrought with emotion, I saw the sprays and knew what he was talking about. They were so huge I could hardly believe it! The captain told that these whales mated for life and that the air comes out of their blowholes at 250 MPH!

Because they were so far away, I could not really get a good read on the enormity of them until one of them dove and its tail came out of the water. Wow! Talk about a tail.

The day could have ended right there and I would have been walking on clouds for hours afterward, but God was not finished with me yet. He had one more surprise in his pocket.

As the boat made a final loop and turned to head back to shore, a family of humpbacks, three of them, popped right out of the water 30 feet to my right. They swam along side the boat for several minutes. First their heads would come out, then their backbones as they rippled along in the water and blew air. After a few minutes, they simply dove away and were gone.

I will never forget that whale excursion. Nothing on earth existed in that hour except my Father, His magnificent creation, and me. And that picture, the picture of a Father giving his daughter the desire of her heart, is one I will cherish and remember as long as I live. That is love in its purest and truest form.

Pam Payne is a member of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30 Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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