Places of Beauty
David M. Nii of Centennial, CO, USA
“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” -Psalm 24:1
A picture of my hometown is one of my computer screensavers. The scene is a calm ocean in the foreground and a snow-capped mountain in the background. When people see it, they often comment on my good fortune of growing up in a beautiful setting. I agree. My hometown is a place of beauty. I enjoy opportunities to go back and visit family and friends in that wonderful island setting.
I have been fortunate to visit many other places of beauty since leaving my hometown several decades ago. Captivating red rock formations, expanses of ocean beaches, thick forests of majestic trees, hillsides of bold saguaro cacti, jagged snow-capped mountain peaks, and deep blue lakes are among those beautiful settings. I am awed by God’s creation in these places.
My journey with God, however, is leading me to a shifting recognition of beauty. I am beginning to view many places I formerly evaluated as beauty-forsaken through a different lens. Muddy swamp land; barren, rocky deserts; mosquito-infested jungles; treeless, dusty prairies; and dirty, brown rivers have gradually become places of intrigue and unique interest. Places have histories and are home to creatures, plants-life. If I am willing to see these overlooked locations, they, too, become places of uncommon beauty.
Perhaps my shifting perception arises from a growing recognition that God is in all the earth, even places not quickly seen as attractive. Maybe my shifting perception is an expanding response to the call to embrace disparate people and communities. Places of beauty, people of beauty-same principle.
“…all things in God and God in all things” (Mechthild of Magdeburg).
Reflecting on Presence
Breathe deeply and become present to the Presence with you here and now. Take a few moments in the silence to reflect prayerfully on the following questions:
Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life?
What is God’s invitation to you in this story?
How do you desire to be more open to God’s presence and invitation tomorrow?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.