from dawn to dusk God shouts out his love for us

 

I often witness sunsets but rarely wake early enough to see in the dawn. When I do, it’s always with breath-held awe. Few other sights grant us such a glorious reminder of God’s hand at work, as He whispers to the sun to “do it again!”, delighting in giving us the gift of one more day.

If we appreciate the created world, take time to observe with our senses alive, we become participators in one of the greatest shows on earth. From dawn to dusk, God is shouting out His love for us, urging His bleary-eyed children to wake up and smell the potential wrapped up in this divine offering from heaven above.

As someone who fails to wake (or sleep) well in the natural, I need all the supernatural assistance I can get, (plus coffee!) to enliven me from the inside out. Even if it takes until noon, it’s still a good practice to pause, breathe, sit quietly, rest and absorb life outside a window before getting too embroiled in tasks.

Just this afternoon, I saw a beautiful little bird in the garden, who swiftly evaded my rather slow attempts to pin her down with my camera, sad to say… maybe another day. Such unexpected sights set our hearts alight. And people-watching is often a favoured (natural?) activity for writers.  🙂

Maybe as we covertly watch those around us, we can praise God for creating this person and that, pray for them as they pass us by, try to read the inner ache and longing in their eyes, seek to remember how God lovingly crafted each one— including those we may not actually like very much!

Nature-watch

Behold, bright spring dawn shines frosty-quiet, moist

and cold—above which moon withers soft, at rest

Gentle insect walk murmurs deep, secret, season peace

sweet like forest air poetry, and every fresh flower

tendril will thrive between stony rock-moss vine

And we nature-watch, rooted in this sacred world

©joylenton2017

 

When we do stop and look outside, or take a walk if we are able, we find our souls coming alive to the beauty on our doorstep and beyond, relaxing in the midst of God’s creation, becoming freer on the inside as we open ourselves to a keen-eyed awareness affecting  heart and soul.

Life is always overshadowed by the thought of death, but that shouldn’t stop us from appreciating the here and now and letting tantalising images of eternity play in our minds instead…

Like petals whisper

Life sings sweetly, like petals whisper smooth over

skin, but some say crush of death is like cool rain,

shadow-mist symphony—it swims through our fingers

Together, we sit and watch sun’s beauty soaring hot and

shining above the blue, as love recalls a sad dream

©joylenton2017

joy in looking closer to ground

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Sometimes we just have to look closer to ground or make an opening to discover hidden beauty. A swathe of green or concealing dark shadow can temporarily stand in the way of a revealing, as can distraction and lack of attention to detail.

On city streets people’s eyes betray an inner leaning. Some have their sight continually downcast, glued to a device in their hand, whereas others fix their gaze on the horizon, or scan sky’s vast panorama as they move around.

But those who still their souls, whose inner vision is honed and who look beyond the obvious, will be rewarded with a fresh perspective and feast for the eye. They will sense things close at hand offering an eternal perspective.

In seeking to discover joy and beauty in the everyday, my natural tendency is to stop, stoop and see whatever is low to ground, wanting to grasp and hold close those things near at hand.

I have caught many aspects of loveliness in the lowly things as I look for them. Even weeds can be appealing, because they are really only flowers growing in the wrong place, aren’t they?  God hides His treasures, those daily grace gifts we’re apt to ignore and take for granted, in plain sight for us to discover and enjoy.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel” ~ Isaiah 45:3 NKJV

Lily of the valley rises as a delicate offering when days are just beginning to warm and hearts are more than ready for a sign of summer to come. Their white bells ring out a sweetness we respond to with eagerness, sounding a death knell to winter-dark and a welcome invitation of spring.

“To see a World in a grain of sand,

And Heaven in a wild flower;

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

And Eternity in an hour…”

~ William Blake ‘Auguries of Innocence’

The immortal lines above reveal how much can remain hidden to us when walking along and looking around. We can easily miss the messages God is sending us. There are touches of heaven everywhere, seeking to infuse us with eternal joy in the here and now.

My own imperfect poetry is an attempt to suggest similar things…

Seeing is believing

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My eyes tend to be drawn down to ground

where I focus on a flower or two

as camera lens captures the profound

 

What if I viewed each flower as a vision

not just of loveliness and perfect petals

but of heaven’s breath? Would my seeing

 

look beyond the human eye, encompass

a greater depth and breadth, stretch toward

eternal skies and find God’s presence sits

close by? Maybe each leaf and flower

 

are inviting us to sense much more

than eyes devour, lovely as it is,

and teaching us to train our souls

 

to be on the lookout for heaven’s

kiss. If so, then I don’t ever want to

miss their offering, but pause instead

 

to marvel how eternity is written

deep within our hearts and concealed

soft within every living thing

©JoyLenton2016

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badge

Welcome to #day28 of #write31days of journeying into joy. Bless you for being here! It’s been quite a marathon, hasn’t it?

As this series draws to a close, so our focus slows a bit, leading to small ways of discovering joy hidden in plain sight.

 

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