1245. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts

One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things,
but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them,
whose garment and revelation they are–if he be such, I say,
he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something
akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.
~George MacDonald

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A new day woke to dawn’s sweet song
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Sunlight chased the night shadows long

Blue skies bow as day’s colors hoist
Hued symphony of the new dawn’s might
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice

Nature’s perfection in our sight
Creation gives salutations
Hued symphony of new dawn’s might

Rivers and streams sang oblations
Watery praises raised on high
Creation gives salutations

The sun marched across the sky
A glittering parade in stride
Watery praises raised on high

The light grew stronger as the night died
A new day woke to Dawn’s sweet song
A glittering parade in stride
Sunlight chased the night shadows long.
~A terzanelle by Kristen

Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. ~Psalm 57:8  ✝

1140. I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony. ~Gustave Flaubert

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You can listen to silence, Reuven.
I’ve begun to realize that you can
listen to silence and learn from it.
It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
It talks to me sometimes.
I feel myself alive in it.
It talks. And I can hear it.

You have to want to listen to it,
and then you can hear it.
It has a strange, beautiful texture.
It doesn’t always talk.
Sometimes – sometimes it cries,
and you can hear the pain of the world in it.
It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.
~From THE CHOSEN by Chaim Potok

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Be still and listen to the rhythm of your beating heart.

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Be still and feel the in and out movement of your breath.

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Be still and find the peace at the center of your being.

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Be still and seek the presence of your inner child.

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Be still and remember childhood’s simple pleasures.

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Be still and recall the unadulterated innocence of a child

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Be still and let joy now bubble up from gratitude for the gift of life.

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And finally in the silence of your thankfulness be still and listen so that you hear the Lord calling you by name.

Be still, and know that I am God… ~Excerpt from Psalm 46:10  ✝

**Images found on Pinterest and Pixabay

943. If you wish to know the Creator, come to know His creatures. ~Columbanus, Medieval Irish Monk

Out of the waters of God’s life
come the creatures of earth, sea, and sky.
With the birth of the creatures on the fifth day
there is the emergence of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, and touching.
~J. Philip Newell

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One of the keys to listening needs to be simply an appreciative attentiveness to God’s creatures. The Book of Job says, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you.” And to look to the animal world is not to look away from God; instead, it’s a way to look at a showing forth of the mystery of God. For it reveals something of the way of God’s seeing and sensing, and one can see as well that in Creation’s mysteries is part of the Christ mystery.

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I’ve seen animals, such as the bird in the photo above, who seem to be bowing before the Creator in gratitude for life, for the day, for His continuing Presence here. There is also the unbroken song of the creatures. And in Revelation John envisaged an unending song of praise being sung by all that swims and flies and has motion. He said every creature on earth here below and in the ocean beneath and in the air above was giving glory to God, singing Holy, Holy, Holy. ~Both paragraphs contain directly quoted, paraphrased, and/or adapted random excerpts from THE BOOK OF CREATION by J. Philip Newell

Consider first the Canada Goose,
brown body, whitish breast
black head, long black neck…
Then there’s the Barnacle Goose…
flight note
a rapidly repeated gnuk
gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk gnuk
(like an ecstatic Eskimo)…
The snow goose
has a pure white plumage
with black-tipped wings…
In Europe you might take her for a swan
or maybe a gannet
till she lets you know abruptly
she’s all goose
so
there they go
through the wind, the rain, the snow
wild spirits knowing
what they know
~Kenneth White

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” ~Job 12:7-10  ✝

**Mike Bizeau posted the great photo of a bull elk on his blog, and I found the image of the bird with its head bowed on Pinterest

873. What you are is Gods’ gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. ~Hans Urs von Balthasar

Screen shot 2015-09-16 at 3.21.39 PM He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth
is generally considered a fortunate person,
but his good fortune is small compared to that
of the happy mortal who enters the world
with a passion for flowers in his soul.
~Celia Thaxter

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Don’t ask yourself what the world needs,
ask yourself what it is that makes you come alive.
And then go do it. Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.
~Harold Whitman

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They come, I see, they conquer! Beauties like the ones in these photos have left me spellbound for as long as I can remember. So it is that I have been blessed with a fire-fanning renewal of the passion of which Thaxter speaks month after month, season after season, year after year for 7 decades now. And as the yearly succession of earth’s flowers has advanced over the years, something in my soul has in fact felt more alive. As a result in the pregnant pauses of my days, over and over again I’ve heard a voice imploring me to make something good out of that passion. M. C. Entyre said that “singers and musicians know the power of the pause, the rest, the soundless beat,” and I’ve come to realize that the spaces between our thoughts or words are dwelling places where things register and then move inward. When we linger in spaces of quietude, we open ourselves to the possibility of an epiphany–the sudden knowing, the flashes of clarity where Christ enters with revelation. In such moments the veil lifts and we are, as Wordsworth put it, “surprised by joy,” the inexpressible joy of coming alive.

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I love to think of nature as an
unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks
to us every hour,
if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver

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The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. ~Psalm 19:8  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collages created by Natalie

831. Appearances are often deceiving. ~Aesop

Do not hover always on the surface of things,
nor take up suddenly with mere appearances;
but penetrate into the depth of matters…
~Isaac Watts

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No one knows what makes the soul wake up happy!
Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.
~Rumi

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I discovered this passionflower (in the first photo) as it was opening to the morning’s light and thought to myself, “what an gangly, unsightly thing!” Then as I watched, slowly but surely it expanded from its misshapenness into what you see in the second photo–the glorious thing it was meant to be. At that moment, it was if dawn’s breeze had indeed briefly lifted the veil of God, and I could see His face smiling in divine revelation of the importance of the day’s gift. The lesson was not to be blinded by first appearances ever but always to wait for His light to reveal the true nature and beauty of people and things. Like the flower, if we allow God to work in us and through us, our awkward beginnings can evolve into the splendor and purpose He intended, for in all of us, “There is a morning inside waiting to burst open in the light.” ~Rumi

“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it–the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ~Jeremiah 33:2-3  ✝

692. Could life so end, half told; its school so fail? Soul, soul, there is a sequel to thy tale! ~Robert Mowry Bell

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices…
~Charles Kingsley

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These realities, of which Kingsley speaks, are meant to stir in humanity an ancient sense of belonging and in turn spark a desire to seek Yahweh, the Ancient of Days, but should they not, finding God in Christ is something even the blind can do. Our Creator sent us His son over 2000 years ago to be our memory and remind us of who we are and to whom we belong. Jesus is a revelation of our loving Father, of His amazing Grace, and of His Kingdom’s intention. And as the Messiah, Christ offers mortals, all of whom are subjected to detrimental temptation by malevolent forces in a fallen world, salvation, and then He, as their spiritual leader, directs those, who accept His offer, into righteous rhythms of life, into a willingness to serve others, and into the dance of life–a dance in which the whole universe can be seen as a partner.

“Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal.  It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.”  ~Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2 ✝

**Images via Pinterest, collage by Natalie

630. If Heaven made him — earth can find some use for him. ~Chinese Proverb

Truly, I am as a grain of sand in the desert,
Infinitesimal, so very small!
And, yet, I serve a purpose in this wondrous world,
As do the trees, so stately and so tall.
I’m just a tiny atom that God has placed down here—
I do not even know the reason why!
But I’m sure that He, with wisdom, has evolved a plan
To fit me in His pattern ere I die.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

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According to Scripture, each one of us is made in God’s image, and though we are, as Buckingham declares, merely an infinitesimal “grain of sand in the desert,” we do indeed, as she also purports, serve a purpose “in this wondrous world.” We are also told in Holy Writ, that the Lord with His limitless power is ready, willing, and able to helps us discern what our purpose is. So the question is how does He do that? Well, we are given a brain that has the ability to learn, a heart that is able to love, ears that hear, and eyes that are capable of discerning a wide spectrum of things. Okay, then, how does He, from afar, orchestrate the discharge of His plan. Well, since our mouths can deliver His loving smile, our voices speak comforting words, our hands administer compassionate healing, our legs carry whatever is lacking to places totally bereft of the “wondrous” aspect of life, it would appear our lives are to be spent serving Him with the gifts we’ve been given. The better question is: how can we who bear Yahweh’s image and breathe His holy breath, do anything but make it our primary concern to spend time with Him and ask for revelation about what it is He would have us do with our “one wild and precious life.” Otherwise, what would be the point of being able to give and receive love if there were no place to spend it nor people with whom to share it?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28   ✝

** Image via Pinterest