To Look Upon Beauty

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They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I would say that beauty is in the eye of the Creator.

God has an eye for beauty, and He knows how to put it on display! His works within the beauty of the natural world are astounding. Who could even begin to imagine such majesty but Him?

Who could fathom the depths of the sea and the height of the heavens? The force of a gale and the gentleness of a baby’s breath? The speed of sound and the slow calculated movements of a sleepy sloth? The bright flash of summer lightning and the cool vastness of moonless winter nights? Beauty. Look upon it.

Has He ever stolen your breath? Has your heart leapt in your chest at the beauty that lay before you? At the magnitude of the size, shape, color, and texture? At the sound that soothes your soul? At the smell that makes you sigh in contentment? Oh, what an amazing God! And to think, we have barely even seen or experienced a portion of all that He has made.

What words come to your mind…stunning, amazing, incredible, miraculous? Do words escape you? They escape me.

Yes, not only has He stolen my breath, He has stolen my vocabulary!

But there is one thing He has not stolen…my heart. I most gladly, freely, and eternally give it to Him. And because of this, one day I will get to look upon ultimate beauty: God Himself.

Francee Strain, revised October 16, 2018

Photo by Francee Strain

The Bird Watcher

Birds are amazing creatures.  My country backyard abounds with them.  A birdbath filling is a daily ritual around here.  And when the magpies show up, it is a multi-times-a-day ritual!

The details that have been poured into their precious little bodies astounds me.  How can I be astounded when I have seen thousands of birds over the years?  Because I have newly seen them, because I have paused to see them.

The shape and size of their feathers.  The color.  The texture.  Their little toes and cute little voices–or big toes and big cacophonous voices.  Their busy little schedules they keep at 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and even when I am trying to sleep.  Stunning.

And to think that at times, I just see a blob of birds and don’t think about the details.  But God knows each little bird in that blob, and He knows when each one falls to the ground.*  And what’s more, He cares about each bird…and the people watching them.

We look around and we see we are a blob of humanity, flitting here and there from thing to thing to thing.  Busy schedules–even when we are supposed to be asleep. But if we take pause and look closer, we will see exquisite details. Beautiful colors.  Small voices and large.

And to think, God looks at each one of us and thinks about the details–and cares about the details. He knows each one of us.  He knows when each one of us falls to the ground.

He is the bird maker and the bird watcher. And if He cares for each one of these creatures, how much more will He care for us, additional creations of His?  And how much more for someone who has become more than just one of His creations, someone who has become one of His children through Jesus’s salvation and wants His involvement in the details.

If we who are His children pause and look closer, we will see His hand in the details.  He knows His children: when we are rising up or sitting down, what we are thinking, all of our ways, all of our words.  He is before us and behind us and His hand is upon us.  There is nowhere we can go where we will be out of His presence.  His hand leads us and holds us.  His light shines around us.  He formed us intricately and awesomely, and He continues to think about us.  He never leaves our sides.  His works are marvelous, and our souls have the opportunity to know it.  Have we paused to know it?**



Photo by Francee Strain.   This robin is facing the sunrise, Easter 2017.

*Based on Matthew 10:29

**Based on Psalm 139

Francee Strain, August 30, 2017