Nature put on quite a show last Sunday evening. We were driving home from somewhere and the heavens were alight.
The cloudscape looked like endless banks of flames in the reflected light of the setting sun. A thin line of quicksilver ran along the bottom of the flames, just above the horizon.
The children were very impressed.
We thanked God for it.
It was a nice way to end a week which had zipped by fast enough to leave me breathless at times.
All that frantic activity was gone, and in a few hours I would begin to wheel around again, but at least for a few moments at the end of the day I could dip into something of God by appreciating the sunset as it was being created.
It felt a bit like placing my little hand into the hand print a mysterious master artist left behind a few seconds ago.
Thank God for these little bursts of everyday loveliness.
When life feels a little frantic and I feel a bit unbalanced, the way I do at the moment, how would I be without them?
And how many must I miss? Perhaps thousands every day.
God is more than generous in heaping beauty upon beauty in this world of ours, and perhaps delights even if we only notice one lovely thing from his hand.
In the right mood I can find much to marvel about in the course of an ordinary day.
I like the way the water swirls down the plug hole after bath time, taking the debris of a child’s day with it – bits of fluff, crumbs, grass, dirt and hair.
I love hanging washing on the line.
There’s something very meditative about the repetitive movements, the neat sameness of the pegs, the brightness of the sun on the fabric, and if there’s a warm breeze blowing from inland as well, then I’m as content as can be.
I sometimes feel like one of damp little tea towels I hang up.
I’ve been well made and am very useful, I’m even someone’s favourite item!
But I’m helpless to make myself totally clean and dry and really fulfil my purpose.
God’s grace is needed for that, which God provides just as naturally as the warm breeze provides the means for evaporation.
I hardly need to do anything, or what I need to do is very great and really very little all at once.
That is, I have to trust that all is going just as it should when it feels as though life is hanging me out to dry.
Beauty in nature always draws me to think about eternal things. I muse about how trivial my concerns will look to me from the perspective of eternity.
How much time I’ll see I’ve wasted on worry or any bad feelings, especially.
But I don’t think I will ever regret stopping to admire a sunset or, like we also had last week, a golden full moon hanging heavy in the clear early morning air.
Or the way Jacob, at nearly three, calls himself “Japid”.
Or just Jacob himself who, when I call him gorgeous because he is heartbreakingly so, always corrects me.
“I’m not gorgeous. Isaac is gorgeous. I’m just Japid.”