1352. If God had wanted to be a big secret, He would not have created babbling brooks and whispering pines. ~Robert Brault

Nor would He have created blue skies, nor sandy beaches nor stars above, nor beautiful flowers, nor falling snow, and on and on the list of clues goes. God wants to speak to us through all that He has made. All of Creation gives pointers into Yahweh’s mystery because it is part of His grand plan that we draw near Him for in so doing we discover our divinely-inspired and eternal connection to Abba, our Loving Father.

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The most beautiful thing
we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe, is as good
as dead: his eyes are closed.
~Albert Einstein

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Einstein is right; it’s impossible for science to explain everything and in the pause of wonder, rapt in awe, we come to appreciate the endless and vast wonders of what God’s mind imagined, what His words spoke, and what His hands created. Thus in being brought close to the heart and mind of God, one’s sense of childlike astonishment returns the I nexpressible joy and utter excitement of life. And it helps us to know on a more conscious level that there’s more to life than what we can understand and explain. That’s why I like to think of the unfathomable mysteries around us as sacred benedictions, blessing at the close of earth’s daily holy orders that encourage us to stay in the Lord’s keeping and to continue looking for more revelations of the Holy One’s nature and intent for our lives.

Who…is like You, LORD? Who is like You—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? ~Excerpted passage from Exodus 15:11  ✝

**These images were taken in the springtime, but that chair and others like it are always in close proximity to my door, and I sit in them on most everyday of the year even if it’s for just a short while.

607. He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter… ~John Burroughs

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral.
The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor
and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere,
is not lost either upon the head or the heart.
It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet
and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread.
~John Burroughs

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At daybreak yesterday winter’s customary leaden skies spread out in brilliant, China blues, and the cold, cold January day issued forth golden streaks of sunlight that ran across the wheat-colored lawn. Blanketed in warmth inside, I sat for some time enjoying an untroubled spectacle and watching the birds fly back and forth from feeders to their sheltering places.  But soon the serenity of the scene was threatened by four feral cats who moved in, crouched down, and inched along the ground in hopes of securing a tasty “catch” for the day. However, as luck would have it, one of the birds spied the predators, sounded the alarm, and off they all flew. When the cats tired of waiting, they wandered off, and the birds returned to their feeding frenzy. Eventually I spotted the one for whom I’d been waiting; he, a bright red cardinal, zoomed in and perched momentarily atop the feeder pole, a throne not wholly unbefitting his majesty. As I lingered watching his bright red flashes flit about here, there, and everywhere, I realized that last night’s blustery north wind had ceased, and now only sporadic zephyrs were ruffling the bamboo’s leaves. And so it was that a splendid morn had unfolded and everything within my frame of vision had been steeped in a heavenly quietude, a “chirpy” kind of beauty, and a soothing calmness. What a healing balm tis such for one, wearied, crestfallen, and grappling with pain! The Lord, in His loving and mysterious ways, had tipped over my cup of despair and once more filled it to overflowing with His loving grace. O Eden, how you yet issue benedictions that fill and thrill the children of your faithful, Master Gardener.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 2:15   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

509. How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species. ~Russell Brand

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is it to feel our strength –
Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more!

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It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion -none.

It is -last stage of all –
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Matthew Arnold

Echoes, echoes of the past–voices, so many familiar voices gone, now silenced by the closing of their life’s doors–memories, memories mingling with the present, all bringing the dark clouds that move in across her brain where the fury of raging storms begin on unfamiliar shores. The echoes, the voices, and the memories become scrambled in her dementia so that things and people once cherished create anxiety, anguish, and at times torment. Her mind, once sharp and clear, is now befuddled as she becomes more and more lost inside herself and her fears. Her family raised, her labors done, there is nothing left now but the lonely silence of her worsening deafness and the rapid waning of her vision. Soon she will be ever so far away from me, the one in whose womb my life began. Will she then still know my face and the feel of my touch? Will the skies ever again clear in her head and cast her weary, but back on familiar shores? Or has she begun the final journey of her dreaded aloneness? Please Lord, be with my mother as she struggles to navigate these dark passages of uncharted waters. Bring her comfort and peace, and if not mine, then let her recognize Your touch and know Your face. Let the child she has again become blindly trust as she once did that all is well with her soul and that You will care for her always. And let Your sweet benedictions steal into her senescent heart and fragile mind that’s becoming so profoundly confused, wounded, and betrayed by her aged, earthly body.

One of my followers commented yesterday on my memory post about the sadness of dealing with an aging parent who has Alzheimer’s, and I know that others of you are caring for elderly parents whose memories are failing. In those situations there are two or more people affected by the circumstances; both the aged and their caregiver(s) are profoundly impacted by this passage. So I decided to share the above with all of you.  It is something I wrote in my journal during a long, hard night when I was caring for my 92-year-old mother before she passed away.


Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4 ✝

214. Angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love. ~Fanny J. Crosby

Ever felt an angel’s breath
in the gentle breeze?
A teardrop in the falling rain?
Hear a whisper among the rustle of leaves?
Or been kissed by a lone snowflake?
Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.
~Carrie Latet


Standing amid the remains of a dying year and clothed in a dress splattered with mud this garden angel retains every bit of her vibrant elegance.  Even in the high winds of last week’s arctic storm she held her ground, waiting and watching, as quietly as the trees and dormant roses around her.  And the angel will keep on watching over this garden while my friend, inside the house, continues to busy herself attempting to heal hurting, human hearts; for you see, my friend, like an angel, is a also guardian.  She guards the secrets of her clients who entrust the painful realities of their pasts to her keeping.  Both she and her garden angel then are reminders of the Lord’s love and watchfulness over Creation and His children.  The fruits of the Holy Spirit with which my friend is gifted are what she draws upon to sustain her clients while she speaks words of wholeness in their wounded spirits.  Why is speaking the tool of her trade?  The Lord spoke the world and all that live in it into being; therefore, the spoken word in all of us who are created in His image has great power, power for good and for evil.  When any of us choose to speak loving, affirming words they fall on mortal ears like the sweet breath of an angel whispering incantations of healing benedictions.  So it is that my friend’s loving words of understanding and compassion and wisdom can be to the soul of her clients what water, in this dry and arid land, is to her garden.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  ~Genesis 1:26  ✝

19. Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. ~Pietro Aretino

We need a renaissance of wonder.
We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls,
the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense
that life is miracle and magic.
~E. Merrill Root


Since it is year’s end, we have entered the season of somber gardens, short days, low temperatures, and more-gray-than-blue skies.  The reckless abandon of the growing seasons has yielded to deepening winter’s, unadventurous restraint.  But, while looking out a window brings into view only the barrenness of winter, an actual venture out into its domain can expose wondrous sights like the seed pod in the photograph.  What a treat to see wondrous silken filaments that look like angel hair releasing seeds that are proof of a continuously running thread in Creation’s tapestry.  Such finds are tangible fragments of God’s imagination buried deep in the mystery of nature, and the aura of holiness that surrounds them often leaves onlookers amazed and awestruck.  These miraculous strands are the same kind of threads that govern the ceaseless ebbing and flowing of oceanic waves, the waxing and waning of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, the birth and death of life forms, and the endless repetition of the seasons.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
~Albert Einstein

Rediscovering awe helps us appreciate the vast wonders of what the Creator’s mind imagined, what His words spoke, and what His hands created.  It bring us closer to God and restores our childlike joy and zeal for life.  The unfathomable mysteries of life are sacred benedictions; their blessings encourage us to stay in the Lord’s keeping and continue searching for His intent for our lives.

Who among the gods is like you, LORD?  Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?  ~Exodus 15:11   ✝

**”if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”  The photo of the seed pod is a excellent example of Wabi Sabi.