Margi Sauder, author
I was part of a conversation recently about God’s miracles and if they still happen today. The consensus was, yes but maybe not as often. I am not sure I agree.
The picture here is of a dog my son photographed in Greece. Every evening this beautiful dog runs down to the sea to watch the sun disappear behind the horizon. He has a ritual of watching the ordinary and being filled with it’s wonder. To me, it is a miracle of awareness of God’s creation.
I can become immune to the every day. We forget to watch for the miracles all around us in the world of nature. It is a miracle that seeds planted in the fall become the spectacular wildflowers of the spring, that the birds begin their chorus of song every morning as the sun comes up, and seeds of the dying of the sunflower bloom become food for many.
Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. In her book New and Selected Poems, Volume One, she has a beautiful poem on this idea. Take a few minutes tonight and watch miracle of the sun dropping from site. As you do, read this excerpt from Ms. Oliver’s poem “The Sun”.
Have you ever seen
in your life
than the way the sun,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone —-
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower…..
The third chapter of Ecclesiastes begins: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…and so follows the beautiful litany of the times and seasons of our lives. As I have meditated on this for several years, I have watched the seasons of nature and how different plants move through each of the seasons of the year.
For instance, fruit trees do not live all the seasons, all the time. Nor do they only live one season, such as bearing fruit, all year long. The fruit tree lives each season with all its energy, transitioning from one season to the next in the fullness of time.
God, through His creation, shows us how to live. How are you at moving in and out of the seasons of your life? Deep rest, blooming, bearing fruit, harvest. Mourning, dancing, silence, speaking up. How do you live?
I recently spent time reflecting on this painting by Melanie Weidner. I was continually drawn to the roots of the tree, seeing the steadiness and sureness of them in contrast to the blowing storm above. I thought about newly planted trees being anchored by ropes, an outward system to keep the tree from toppling over until it’s own growth and root system can take hold.
In faith journeys, or our life journeys, there are people who do the same for us, all the while contributing to the roots of our spiritual formation. I began thinking of the many people that contributed and are contributing to my ever-growing root system. The people who loved me when it was most difficult to love me, those who gave me encouragement, allowed me to question and doubt and wander. There are those who were unkind and hurtful, where I was challenged to look deeply at what it means to love my enemies and that all people are children of the same Creator. Times when being in community can be difficult and blessed at the same time no doubt broadened and gave depth in my Spirit. The spiritual disciplines that have become a part of my life, people I encountered for a passing moment, yet had a lasting impact, those who I have laughed with, cried with, prayed with, and played with all are part of the root system that nourishes the tree called “my life.”
This root system is grounded in God who holds, sustains, and gives new life again and again and again.
How does this painting speak to you?
Picture by Melanie Weidner. www.ListenForJoy.com