1133. Where does reverence arise in your life? ~Gratefulness.org

So often and especially this time of year, both reverence and gratefulness come forth from my ability to see. So I put together some words and collages of places, images, and/or ways that never fail to arouse reverence. As I sat looking out my window, I found great joy in finding the holy in the small and the sacred in the ordinary. Enjoy and count the ways reverence arises in your days.

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the sacrosanct lay on spring’s flowery altars

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the hallowed bloomed atop roses, old and new

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the sanctified twined and climbed on sundry vines

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the holy wafted forth from fragant berries and herbs

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the sacred was carried on the wings of pollinators

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the consecrated could be seen in a wide array of colors and hues

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But I, by your(God’s) great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. ~Psalm 5:7  ✝

**All images were taken in my yard

925. The earth has music for those who listen. ~William Shakespeare

Inside the silence between
your 
heartbeats hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Listen.
Quiet the voices and noise around you.
Honor the Holy One calling you!
~Author Unknown

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I perceive the universe as a cosmic temple and planet earth as a sanctuary in that temple. Although not given the power of speech as such therein, rain and other weather-related phenomena exhibit distinctive voices in and under the heavens. And as these things fall from earth’s chaotic atmosphere, they often blend their unique voices with other holy sounds in the natural world. In that sacred chorus is a call for humanity to seek the Maker of the temple because God not only hardwired man with a desire to connect with other human beings but also with a  longing to seek and connect with Him. Thus to that end man was given eyes to witness the sacraments of heaven and earth, ears to hear the chants of their hallowed voices, intellect to question and understand to some extent what is seen and heard, and a heart that in due time turns from irreverence to deep longing.  Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, said, “Nature is so powerful, so strong.  Capturing the essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the rain in its weather.  It takes you to a place within yourself.” And so after the 11 inches of magical, mystical rain that we’ve had in the last week, I’m a’listenin’ and doin’ little jigs all over the place.

…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— ~Proverbs 1:5  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

559. Here on gray paths of November like a trembling hand a beam of light caressing my pain and my soul breathes the sweet scent of God. ~Frédéric G. Martin

At no other time (than autumn) does
the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell,
the ripe earth; in a smell that is in
no way inferior to the smell of the sea,
bitter where it borders on taste,
and honeysweet where you feel it
touching the first sounds.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

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There’s a nip in the morning air. The willow leaves have turned yellow, and the once green lawn has now donned its beige coat. As autumn continues to morph into winter, the sun streaks across the yard from its more southerly stance. In the aftermath of recent rain and wind, the redbud tree scarcely has any leaves, and the Rose of Sharon stands naked in the chilled garden. Beneath her the rose hips are dressed in scarlet and above the oaks leaves are reddening. The whir of butterfly wings is gone, the hum of the bees is gone, the fragrance of the blossoms is gone, and yet something mysterious, something magical, something hallowed remains. But what is it? What is alway present in Eden’s haunts? Surely you must know for all around us the air sweetly speaks of the unmistakable, unending, undying, abiding aroma of El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.

They have ears, but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell. ~Psalm 115:6   ✝

305. Awake, thou wintry earth – Fling off thy sadness! ~Thomas Blackburn

It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens

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The vernal equinox, official start of spring, is still 7 days away, but there are signs of its coming.  And with each new green shoot Creation’s heart beats stronger, God’s ancient utterances grow louder, and the potential for lifting humankind’s spirits increases.  As the sanctuary of earth and sky throws open its doors, doors once “frozen” in wintry bondage, the introit to the full ceremonial form of springtime’s metaphorical “high mass” is beginning.  Presiding over the opening ceremonies are their highnesses, the avian cardinals.  With the arrival of the equinox on the 20th, other “clergy” donning different vestments will appear, and they too will perform their holy sacraments upon earth’s hallowed altars.  Currently only chants can be heard echoing close to the ground or reverberating near branch and cane.  However the rest of spring’s holy voices will soon join in, and their loud arias will climb garden walls and charge over hedgerows.  As ever increasing waves of spring’s sweet sounds cross the land, they will be discernible to some extent even in the mighty cement jungles of commerce.  Despite clouds of spiritual pollution, the light that was in the beginning will break forth anew, and sounds of the eternal will be able to be heard above the cacophonous noises of humanity’s hectic busyness.  Earth’s quiet, eternal rhythms still proffer wholeness, harmony, and healing in the maelstrom of madness within today’s “cultural currents.”

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  ~Job 37:5   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

295. Of all God’s gifts to the sighted man, color is the holiest, the most divine… ~John Ruskin

In the house of words was a table of colors.
They offered themselves in great fountains,
and each poet took the color he needed:
lemon yellow or sun yellow,
ocean blue or smoke blue,
crimson red, blood red, wine red.
~Eduardo Galeano

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What a glorious tangerine and white dream is the daffodil in the photograph, and holiness indeed is written all over it!  As God speaks to mankind through the Bible and Creation, we can see that He values color, the intent of which seems, like all else, to be that its hallowed voice draw His children closer to Him.  Color appears first in holy writ in the opening pages of Genesis when God fathered the whiteness of light on day 1 of the Creation story.  Then on the second day the Lord created expanses to separate water from water, and both the sky and the reflection of the heavens in it are shades of blue.  On day 3 He created earth’s green vegetation.  Day 4 brought the placement of lights that governed the heavens, and day’s greater light, the sun, is yellow; up close pictures of the sun also show reds and oranges in its make up.  Fish and great sea monsters swam the seas and birds took flight on the fifth day, and whales and sharks have been seen as hallmarks of an ancient pagan idol symbolized by the color orange.  The sixth day brought the creation of man and animals; the name Adam means red and the blood that courses through the veins of man and beast alike is red.  Day 7, the Sabbath, was sanctified by God whose robes and glory are perennially symbolized by white, and later when atoning for man’s sins His son, Jesus, wore a purple robe.

“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.  God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.  Genesis 1:30-31  ✝

261. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. ~C. S. Lewis

Every gardener knows
that under the cloak of winter
lies a miracle–a seed waiting to sprout,
a bulb opening to the light,
a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
~Barbara Winkler

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Miracles!  Where would any of us be without the existence of miracles?  Bad things happen on planet earth, but miraculous things occur on a daily basis too.  And many times out of the dust and devastation of catastrophic disasters arise changes for the betterment of life and living conditions as well as the inevitable uplifting examples of an amazing goodness that exist in the human soul.  I garden not just because of a love for flowers but more importantly because I find day to day evidence of the mystery and miracles of God and His goodness in the garden’s confines.  Spending even the smallest amount of time in my garden brings repeated awarenesses of the Lord’s abiding presence, and that keeps me focused on Him and not on my own smallness or limitations.  In spite of Creation’s brokenness and my own heart’s sufferings, I am guided to wellsprings of life and hope amid earth’s unmistakable hallowed workings.  Both contentment and enlightenment can be found in the orbs of the heavens, in the green of the earth, in the flowing of its waters, in the warmth of the sun, and in the wind, that like Yahweh, can be felt but not seen.  That in turn teaches me how to respond to life and its sometimes terrifying circumstances with a spirit of peace and love instead of anger, confusion, and frustration.  Understanding is not promised unto us, but peace that transcends understanding is granted to those who seek the Prince of Peace and search for the true heart of life.

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.  ~Psalm 50:1   ✝

215. A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship… ~John Muir

…But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent,
their songs never cease.
Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life,
every fiber thrilling like harp strings…
~John Muir, American naturalist and author

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In this particular writing Muir eventually goes on to say that it’s “no wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples.”  When one thinks about earth’s courts in such a way, he/she realizes that trees, whose roots are three times the size of the tree itself, monopolize large chunks of the planet’s hallowed ground, and so it’s not surprising that throughout the ages trees have been endowed with profound and sacred meanings.  For example, by observing the growth and death of trees, the flexible nature of their branches, the annual reoccurrence of their foliage, many have regarded trees as powerful symbols of growth, decay, and resurrection.  In addition to their aesthetic appeal, trees prevent soil erosion; they provide weather-sheltered ecosystems in and under their leaves; they play a vital role in the production of oxygen and the reduction of carbon dioxide; they moderate ground temperatures; and some even produce sumptuous orchard fruits.  Trees also speak to mortal men of the largeness and power of their Creator, and their lofty heights as well as the views afforded from them are envied by those who dare not climb their towering trunks.

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  ~Genesis 2:9a  ✝