Sun breaks today. Through the clouds. And, I see the beauty of the cherry blossoms. Light pink puffs like cotton candy set gently against the branches.
How can I—how could I—ever doubt your existence, your faithfulness, your presence?
Chickadees settle on the branches, soft voices singing. Petals fall like tears, soaking the ground with pink polka dots fragrant with God’s creation.
How can we look upon the Earth and not weep at the beauty or know joy? How can we not know there is a creator?
I breath in and reach toward beauty and joy. I reach toward the creator and celebrate His creation.
Counting my blessings of gratitude with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience.
#102 – 120
A crisp spring morning
the grass that needs mowing
the son sleeping too long
warm tea and flannel
a gentle smile from my husband
good work for the day
moments of silence
a short text message from daughter
a calendar that says she’ll be home this week
cooking a meal with my son
sharing that meal as a family
a week to walk toward the cross
time to reflect on that walk
His loving arms
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
When I was young, we spent summers at the Oregon coast. We had a small house–an “A” frame–three blocks from the Pacific Ocean. We lived on Third Street in a town so small that we walked or rode bikes everywhere. And, there was no mail service. We simply walked to the post office and asked if any mail had arrived for our family.
I walked on the beach every day, usually by myself. My Keds tennis shoes and my white windbreaker when it was cool or especially windy. Hands in my pockets, I walked. For hours. The ocean drowned out the distraction of the world. Seagulls floated. Sand pipers scurried away from the waves.
I breathed in the beauty and solitude. This is where I knew–and still know–God exists. This is the place I return when I need to remember.
My walk is like walking a labyrinth of sorts. I head into the wind at a place in the wet sand that I call the “shell line.” Here, if you look down the beach, you see a narrow, white-speckled path along the sand–as far as the eye can see. It weaves its way along beyond the mist.
But here, I see things others don’t. I search for God’s beauty and find it. Eyes cast down, I slowly and deliberately step. My eyes scan the shell line for small, perfect circles. Baby, snow-white sand dollars, some no more than a quarter inch across. Others larger.
The world falls away.
A sort of reverence envelops me. Reverence for God’s creation. Prayerful meditation with each step. Aware of everything, yet aware of nothing.
Before me, a small white circle appears in the sand, distinct among the other angular pieces of broken shell that surround it. I kneel and pick it up with my left hand. Perfect. Beautiful. I brush off the wet sand, blow on it, and gently place it in the palm of my right hand.
I look out on the ocean for a moment, brush my hair from my face and begin again. While I no longer spend my summers at the beach, I return to this place several times a year. I walk on the beach and the waves beckon me to the shell line. My labyrinth. A place where I journey toward God.
A sacred place in God’s creation. A sacred journey each time I come. Each visit brings healing, understanding, renewal.
A sanctuary. The Lord’s temple. I “gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” here. I seek Him and I find Him.
This is where I know.
Where will you find a sacred space today? Where do you gaze upon God’s beauty and know that He is God?
I love to laugh, so I look for glimpses of God’s sense of humor. I’m not sure why, but I find spring full of God’s humor–in the beauty of his creation. Maybe it’s because the newness of spring makes me more aware.
Two days ago, I got soaked by a spring “shower’ while heading to my car, but the sun blinded me. I laughed and jumped on tip toes past the puddles. God must like to mix things up, I thought. Or, perhaps it brings Him joy to see us all splash around like children.
Perhaps God likes to see how we will react to his creative genius. Last week, the crocuses had bloomed — darling purple crocuses standing side by side along the path to my front door. Smiling up at me. They are always the first sign of spring–at least in the Pacific Northwest. But then, sometimes, like last week, the frost comes again. The crocuses have, once again, made their entry a tad early. As I race out to my car in the morning, the sweet crocuses bow down as I pass, ice crystals weighing down their beautiful heads. I laugh. Flowers that curtsy as I pass. Clever. I never would have thought of it.
I find comfort believing that God has a sense of humor. It makes life’s troubles a little easier to carry, knowing that He not only loves us unconditionally, but perhaps that he laughs with us as we seek to be His hands and feet.