Seeing beauty in the everyday

countryside flowers ~ file image WoJ

Sometimes we don’t have to travel far at all to see the wonder of the world.

It’s right here, on our doorstep.

Well within our vision.

There is beauty in the everyday.

Cause to celebrate the commonplace.

Eyes enhanced by grace see more than meets the eye.

Blessings abounding for the discerning.

We learn to marry the marvellous with the mundane.

I have had my eyes opened to enchantment.

My soul woken to the wonder woven through each day.

Being housebound means that each opportunity and ability to leave the confines of four walls is reason to rejoice.

Yes, even in a hospital waiting room, a trip to the doctor or the dentist! Surprising encounters can lift our days if we look for them.

I record #beautyintheeveryday on my Instagram feed as memory markers for darker, gloomier days.

All around we are offered opportunities to see life and to see it whole, to witness the outpouring of God’s goodness, glory and grace.

A short journey gives me a chance to see abundance of new life as sap rises in Spring, sultry, hazy, lazy days of Summer unfold, Autumn reveals her golden-clothed splendour, and Winter creeps its silvery, icy fingers on the land.

The poem below is celebrating my brief trips out in recent months, with a wistful looking forward to future ones.

‘Sightseeing’

countryside view

I didn’t travel far

beyond my front door

Just sitting in the car

delighting in the things I saw

Landscapes, clouds and sky

spoke out God’s beauty

to me as I watched

and sighed. And trees

bloomed fresh and green

then shed their coat of leaves

in russet-gold of varied hues

midst fluffy-white and cobalt-blue

I didn’t get to see

or smell the salt-tanged air

of sea, or watch as

waves rose and fell

upon the sand

Though my heart desires

to see the coast

and ponder on eternity

as life swells forth

in ebbs and tides

amongst the surf

unto infinity

©JoyLenton2014

coast ~ PJ file pin image

Weight of glory

One of the most amazing things about the Christmas story is how everyday people are invited in to share the special occasion.

So few were even aware of the Messiah’s arrival or had paid attention to the signs along the way.

A privileged few were insiders and participants in the greatest story ever told ~ God come to earth to take on our full humanity.

These bystanders may have felt the weight of glory surrounding them as angels sang and heaven rejoiced.

Been overwhelmed by it all.

Yet even they were strangers to the full implication of the Incarnation.

How Jesus would become sin for us on the cross.

Give His life as a ransom for many.

Die the death we deserved that we may inherit His eternal life to come.

This year, as we read the familiar Bible passages, see a school nativity perhaps or watch a film on it, let’s try to see it as though for the very first time.

Allow ourselves to be awed.

Awaken to wonder.

Feel the weight of glory.

‘Incarnate’

Divine conception orchestrated in the holding-space

of a virgin’s womb cum meeting-place twixt

heaven and earth ~ signalling our Saviour’s birth

Mystery deep, sublime, beats beneath

the rhythm of time, now seeping inexorably

between all that was, is now and will be

So human days and ways shift into line

with plans of aeons past colliding as history,

present, and future now subsiding as one

to meet and greet Christ-child ~ Mary’s son

How can this be?

An infant meek and warm, just barely born,

should bear the weight of glory now

and see it cast aside

for a crown of thorns, somehow

No inkling yet as befuddled shepherds

struggle into stable bleak, forlorn,

with countenance of joy and

hope spread on their faces,

jostle reverently around for front-row

seat of places in this Nativity

where grace and angels meet

on Holy ground

And wise men travelled from afar

guided by a bright and beckoning star

to see the One prophets had foretold

and bring Him gifts ~ myrrh, frankincense and gold

Here, cradled in a cattle stall

lay a babe ~ the King and Lord of all

providing reason for us to celebrate

the birth of our Saviour Incarnate

©JoyLenton2013

Rays of grace

When our eyes are open to God’s work in our lives, we can see glory in the gritty reality of ordinary.

Have days made dazzling by His grace.

Gain hope and encouragement from seeing His hand upon our lives.

Find that our vision expands exponentially the more we are attuned to seeing the supernatural and extraordinary in the everyday.

Observe touches of God’s loving ways filling the commonplace with potential and promise.

As I have attempted to look with deliberation at these things, my heart is filled with wonder, gratitude and praise.

Days remain challenging.

There is struggle and pain, sickness and sadness fighting to control us.

But God…

He is always here to offer hope, help, strength and encouragement.

May your heart also beat thankful, swell with awe and gratitude for all the myriad ways He leaves a mark of grace on lives thirsty for His Presence.

‘Fiery rays’

It began…

with lack of rush or hurry

deceptively slight and slow

as barely a hint of maiden-blush pink

provided a tint to tinge edges

of clouds dancing fluffy, low

to brush rooftops and chimneys

with apparent ease

But then…

within the blink of an eye

as I observed with awed

and rooted gaze

the sky lit up in fiery

rays of scarlet-red bleeding

into toasted tangerine and gold

a veritable panoply of praise

very soon took hold

And I…

watched rapturous, sore-amazed

with wonder in my head as God

poured glory Hallelujah out upon

this familiar place I trod

in bygone healthier days

now wreathed in holy blaze

as earth was put to bed

©JoyLenton2013

“Earth’s crammed with heaven ~ and every common bush afire with God” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Linking here with Jennifer for #TellHisStory where we seek to celebrate God’s work in our lives

And with Mel for Essential Fridays link up