Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
A week or so back I wrote about the idea attributed to St Francis of Assisi; ‘Preach and if necessary use words’. I want to explore this idea a little further today. When taken it in conjunction with a comment I read recently by the Franciscan Richard Rohr ‘Nature itself is the first Bible’ where better to look for inspiration than in my own back garden?
Here is a photo of an evergreen climber scrambling through the forsythia, the lilac and the rose bushes. Its Latin name is Passiflora caerulea, but is more commonly called the Passion Flower. Have a look at the flower – take as long as you like. Reflect on what you see. What is God showing you, telling you in this flower? Are you struck by the intricate design of the flower, the pure white petals or the stamens? Do you see them as the 15th and 16th centuries Spanish Christian missionaries did as symbols of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Perhaps God has another message for you.
And what about the little insect on the stem, perhaps too difficult to see? God gave that little insect eyes to see, feet, wings, a heart and a brain to carry out the task He set for it. If God takes such care with so tiny an insect how much more does He care for you? Remember ‘So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’ Matthew 10:31NIV. OK, sparrows are bigger than this tiny insect but you get the idea. If God can design and create such beauty in such tiny creatures and flowers, yet also created the Sun, the moon and all the stars of the heavens – and you and me - how can anyone say there is no God? There most certainly is and He lives everywhere – Emmanuel – God-with-us, God-within-us.
But what do you see in this photo? What is God telling you today? Look, see, reflect and then offer a prayer, certainly a prayer of thanksgiving but also a prayer asking God to tell you what more He wants of you.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years