Monday, June 13, 2016

Beautiful Things

Whenever I was on the prairie, 
I experienced a kind of presence 
I had not felt anywhere else. It mystified me. 
Was the prairie holy?
Prairie Images of Ground and Sky
By Terry Evans

The Kansas prairie is what I've always known. The quote above is on an historical display at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Concordia.  In 1884, six Catholic sisters arrived from the city of Rochester, N.Y., to the north central Kansas hamlet of Concordia. What did they think of the solitude of the country when they were used to the bustle of big city life?

Perhaps they - like me - did find a glimpse of God in the world He created. It does seem holy as night gives way to dawn.
A couple of mornings last week, I ventured out before the sun broke free from the horizon. As I put water in the coffee pot, I was drawn by the color of morning tinging the tops of the clouds outside my northeast kitchen window. It's like the clouds are being lit from within. Sometimes, I don't even change out of my pajamas. I just slip into tennis shoes and drive down the road, seeking the light (and hoping to avoid any early-morning neighbors).
I play with flash and then with the backlit silhouette, never quite capturing the beauty that is there, free for the taking, on a cool summer morning before the heat of the day ramps up. The songs of birds punctuate the Kansas breeze, amid the annoying buzz of mosquitoes who want to invite me to breakfast - with me as the main course.

My Guideposts devotional to start the week also reminded me to appreciate the beauty around me:

A Time to Act

Stand outside this evening. Look at the stars. 
Know that you are special and loved by the One who created them.

That's not a hard assignment. I have plenty to appreciate.

From big vistas in rain-soaked pastures ....
to the smallest of beautiful visitors on a backyard bloom.
From sunrises just before the sun breaks on the horizon ...
 to the dance of morning's first light as it skips across the wheat field with fairy-like gleam ...
... to turning and finding the "backside" of sunset at my sunrise tree.
Yes, the prairie does seem holy. Thank you, God, for eyes to see it. With the news of yet another mass shooting, I pray we look for the beauty in each other - in spite of our differences. I pray we celebrate the uniqueness of each person. May we have eyes to appreciate our diverse earth and its people - whether in a busy city or a quiet rural landscape.

A Time to Think

All the world is an utterance of the Almighty. Its countless beauties, its exquisite adaptations, all speak to you of Him. –Phillips Brooks, clergyman and author

A Time to Act

Open your heart to the beauty that surrounds you.

A Time to Pray

Dear Lord, please help me to see the beauty of every day.
Devotional (in blue) from Guideposts.


  1. Your thoughts so beautifully expressed. To me it seems so much easier to love than hate. There is so much beauty in nature if only people would take the time to stop and breathe, surely there would be more love.

    1. Thank you, Helen. I don't understand all the hate that seems to permeate the world. Appreciating God's beautiful creation certainly helps my perspective on life.