Today is Valentine’s Day… 45 days into 2017 and I’ve already broken almost all of my New Year’s resolutions. This is a more impressive feat than you may realize, because every year I make dozens and dozens of them. It’s one of my favorite thing to do; like an opportunity to create a whole new me: spend more time outside, eat more vegetables, take up yoga, learn to knit, spend more time in silence, improve my posture, try new recipes.
Something about the unlimited potential of New Year’s resolutions gives me a lift every year. And I like to believe that somewhere out there is an alternate universe where I’m doing all these things and feeling fantastic.
But there’s one resolution that I’m determined to stick to in THIS universe:
To discover—and rediscover—the beauty of God’s creation.
I’m sure you’ll agree this is not so easy to do in the winter. Record setting rainy days in January gave us a bleak, dreary month of cloudy skies, dead grass, and bare branches. February seems to be replacing all of that with snow, ice, and wind. Not exactly the best conditions for taking in the splendor of God’s creation.
Unless you’re willing to look a little harder and a lot closer. A lone bluebird perched on a dead branch. Rays of sun peeking out behind the clouds. The glittering silence of a midnight snowfall. A winter sunrise, like the photo at the top of this post, taken by a dear friend on a cold January morning
After searching God’s landscape in this new way, we can turn our eyes to our brothers and sisters. There is great beauty to be found in human actions and interactions. The core message of Jesus was PEACE and LOVE. Where do you see this in your daily experiences? For me, it was recently, as I saw hundreds of faith communities across the country embody these teachings in the compassion and concern they showed for our refugee sisters and brothers. “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
We are all created in God’s image. What’s more beautiful than one human treating another with compassion, dignity and love?
I invite you to join me in being on the lookout for glimpses of God’s beautiful creation in the midst of these winter months, as we move into the most holy season of Lent.