From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.
Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.
What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22 ✝
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~A Ute Prayer
Oh Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath I feel moving in and out of me,
the very breath that gives life to me and all living things.
I come before you, as one of your children to ask that
You continue to reveal Yourself through Creation’s beauty.
May my hands always respect the things you’ve created;
May my ears be ever sharp to hear your voice; and
May I be wise enough to perceive the lessons
hidden in all things made of Your hands.
~My prayer based on one by
Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota Sioux
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4 ✝
**Three images via Pinterest; the bottom picture of the granite boulders taken by me on what were once First Nation’s lands at Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfoot Nation, once asked, “What is life?” He then answered his own question with haunting and graphic wisdom. He said, “it is the flash of the firefly in the night. It is the breath of the buffalo in wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
Life, that spark, that whispering breath of God over the void, grows faint in winter. Cloistered behind the grays and browns of gloomy veils, its glow, its hum, its buzz, pales and lowers, but as we near the vernal equinox, Eden’s heartbeat becomes a little more perceptible each day. It has been said that “God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled,” and today I’ve discovered right here in my back yard that through dark, seemingly dead branches life into the lifeless has been poured again without any wasted spillage. It is on the trailing tendrils of a “Clematis armandii” vine that life has flowed silently and secretly until it could no longer be contained. As it burst forth into the newness you see in my photos, it is proof that the Holy One tends His Eden still. His divine, hidden forces of life have become tangibly visible, and a new spark has ignited a tiny flame. Soon a steady succession of similar sparks will fuel a blaze, a blaze that will spread like a wildfire lighting the world anew with evidence of God’s never-ending glory.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. ~Job 12:9-10 ✝