Something Natural, Something Spiritual, Something Peaceful

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery–air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

The Bell Jar by Sylvia path

The words capture me. I read them again, “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery …”. A surging rush forward of mesmerizing colors and sounds. I breathe it in, nature that is. My senses quicken. Yes, this is what it is to be happy, I say to myself.

Nature is the living, visible garment of God.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am a peripatetic soul. I’m at my creative best when I’m moving about outdoors. Nature, sunlight and movement inspire me. I walk out my imagination in creation.

Ninety-three percent of all communication is non-verbal, the researchers say. For me, movement in nature is a means of non-verbal communication with God. I move into a state of flow, a place of deconcentration that opens The Way to something bigger, something beyond my own self.

Something natural, something spiritual, something peaceful happens while moving in nature. I become wrapped in the living, visible garment of God and for me, that is what it is to be happy.

For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28.

Love & Peace,

About Sylvia Plath, whose quote I reference above…

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) is a poet whose troubled life and powerful work remains a source of controversy. Plath suffered from bouts of severe depression throughout her life, her first serious breakdown occurring in 1953 and later remembered in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar (1963). During an extraordinary burst of creativity in the autumn of 1962 Plath wrote most of the poems on which her reputation now rests. However, that winter was particularly severe and Plath became increasingly isolated and depressed: on February 11th 1963 she committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen of her flat.  https://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/sylvia-plath

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. 1-800-273-8255.

Nature speaks

Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thoughts to God and say: “O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy are Thou Thyself, Creator of all!”

Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Love & Peace,

Have I ever felt persecuted when I’ve been contradicted?

Publication1

This statement has me thinking.   Have I ever felt persecuted when I’ve been contradicted?

Persecuted—a strong word.  Never has my life been threatened because of my political or religious beliefs.  There were a few times when I was treated unfairly by those who contradicted me—misunderstood and misrepresented by those who didn’t agree with my way of thinking.  Not sure I’d call that persecution, though—more like an opportunity for some needed character development on my part, I’d say.

And then there’s the flip side.  Have others ever felt persecuted when I’ve contradicted them?  My guess is yes, most likely.  I recall some strong reactions from others with whom I disagreed–involving words like close minded, judgmental, disloyal and deceived.

But I rather focus on those times of honest, direct and respectful heart-to-hearts, when we’ve come through to the other side with no bruises, no wounds and no battle scars.  Thankful for those precious times when two agree to disagree and still remain open to relationship for the sake of love.

The bible tells the story of two brothers named Jacob and Esau.  Jacob and Esau had a disagreement that led to a broken relationship lasting many years.

The evening before reuniting with his brother, Jacob wrestles all night with “a man” (who really is the Angel of the Lord).  Jacob calls the place “God’s face”, because he saw God face-to-face and lived.

At daybreak, Jacob leaves his wrestling match and moves on to meet his brother.  Upon seeing Esau, Jacob cries out, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God”!

Sometimes God hides Himself in our disagreements.  Sometimes He hides Himself in those who contradict us.  Sometimes we just need to keep wrestling through until we can see God’s face in the face of the contradiction.   That’s not persecution—that’s love.

Have you ever felt persecuted when you’ve been contradicted?  Try envisioning your brother, and your difference of opinion, coming right out of the heart of God.   It may give you a new perspective worth exploring.