Tag Archives: hope

Stopped By Beauty

Early each morning for nearly four years I have walked around our neighborhood with Connor, our greyhound. It is, most days, a most wondrous time. Connor is, by others’ observation as well as mine, an amazing animal that lives to enjoy relating to anything that moves, but especially humans. His walks are most complete when he is able to cross paths with one or more established or new friends. And if there’s another dog to meet or enjoy, he’s doubly happy. He makes a habit of leaning heavily into those whom he most appreciates.

The mystery of my bond with this creature I am charged to care for seems a vital connection to what once was and what one day will again be. Both Connor and I are fulfilled and reflect the glory of our Creator in these moments together.

Walking in the early hours of each day is an invitation to be present in a way that the noise and activities of the day tend to challenge. The quiet, peacefulness that morning’s first light offers is a breathtaking experience.

I hear more. I see more. I feel more. I process more of life. I laugh more. I cry more. I sing more.I pray more.

Connor and I are surrounded by the music of creation, a symphony to the Creator that is new every morning. When we’re quiet, creation cries out a continuous song of wonder. And I join that symphony most mornings, voicing the wonder of participating in the song.

  • When morning gilds the skies…
  • Morning by morning, new mercies I see
  • And he walks with me and he talks with me…
  • Holy, Holy, Holy…

Then there are mornings that are marked by a moment of breathtaking beauty that literally stops me in my tracks and excites my soul. And though I’ve come to walk in anticipation of these moments, they always come with an element of surprise. It’s as if a veil is lifted and creation’s song becomes much richer and powerful. I’ve been stopped by

  • the beauty of a dark, moonlight-less morning
  • the deafening quiet of creation at rest
  • the powerful light of a full moon in the crystal-clear darkness of the morning
  • the shimmering stars that form the familiar constellations of my childhood
  • the hushed sounds of gently falling snow
  • the mystery of dense fog hanging in the air – the muted colors and sounds
  • the colors in the sunrises – colors beyond the scope of any human artists’ palette
  • the clouds that are beyond my imagination
  • the red fox, coyote, bobcat, and deer that have walked along side us or crossed our path
  • the polyphony of creation’s song – squirrels, birds, dogs, crickets, turkeys, owls, deer, and other yet-to-be-identified creatures

It is in these moments that I experience a perfect storm of sorts, where mysteriously all my hope and desire are exposed. And in the expansiveness of that moment they are met by Him who is Beauty, the object of all my hope and desire. And I can almost hear the very rocks crying out around us.

When was the last time you were stopped by Beauty?



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Three Words

Recently I have found great rest in three words repeated often so far in my reading of Isaiah, a book that has some rather unsettling scenes. They appear at some of the most unsettling moments for me as I read of God’s wrath and justice. Suddenly, there they are, right in the context of great turmoil and upheaval. And just as suddenly, I find myself longing for fulfillment of that deep desire that has gnawed at man’s soul since separation from his Creator – and hope stirs in me.

In that day…

In that day the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will spread a wonderful feast
for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.

There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.

He will swallow up death forever!
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
against his land and people.
The Lord has spoken!

In that day the people will proclaim,
“This is our God!
We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”

Isaiah 25:6-9 (New Living Translation)

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