24 September 2019

consider the lilies

For our 25th anniversary, my husband and I went hiking for a week in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, along the Appalachian Trail.  The hours of quiet, the breezes, scents, sounds, and views were like water to my soul.  The hard work of shouldering a 30+ pound pack on the up-and-down of a steep and rocky terrain, allowed me to enter into a kind of meditative state where physical pain simply rolled in and out of my consciousness, duly noted and fading as I walked, thought, prayed, and listened.

We saw so much beauty in the sweeping vistas and in the macro lens, but it was the macro that got me thinking one day.  I love taking pictures of flowers and mushrooms, snails and butterflies, snakes and chipmunks, all the fascinating things we see in nature.  I wanted to stop at every third step, to snap and share the beauty of creation with others.  As we walked through a narrow tunnel of tall wildflowers, I felt almost an obsession to take a picture of every one, and then I got to thinking about the flowers on the other side of the hill, where there was no trail, and I wanted to find them and take pictures of them as well, even though I knew it wasn't possible.

What struck me that day was that the beauty in this world IS.  It's just here.  Not because of us or for us.  There is a daisy in a field somewhere that I will never see, just as gorgeous as the one in front of me at this moment.  No human eye will ever see it, and yet its beauty remains.  I'm filled with awe at the reality that MOST of the beauty in this world will go unseen by the human eye.  Why is it there?  What is its purpose?

I think there is one who sees every flower, every blade of grass, every humming bee.  The Creator of the beauty, he sees all of it and loves it.  Something about this makes me...content.  Maybe it's just freeing and refreshing to remember that everything is not about me.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, "Consider how the wildflowers grow: they do not labour or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was adorned like one of these." Luke 12:27 CSB  

 I rest in the knowledge that nothing in the universe goes unnoticed.

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