Maybe it was the unusual sight of alpacas that sharpened my senses this morning, or maybe it was a short conversation with a friend in this time of isolation, or maybe I came a little more alive with the familiar sensation of speed, the car swooping around bends, dipping on cambers, accelerating up hills…. but, whatever the cause, my senses were suddenly flooded, overwhelmed, with awe at the miracle of existence. Drowning in wonder. How has this come to be? Look at the world. Look.
It was an ordinary, routine trip to deliver shopping to friends and now I was driving home, just a few familiar miles. As I crested a hill, the empty road rolling out before me like a ribbon, I was acutely conscious that this is all a gift from God. Everything. Every second, every breath, my hands on the steering wheel, the thrum of the engine, the ripple of breeze, the flowers at the roadside, the blossoms in the hedgerow, the sunlight, every blade of grass. All his gifts. Undeserved. What have I done to deserve any of this? Above me the sharp clear blue of His huge sky, the tumbling white cathedral clouds, the concept of space and time eternal, and a silent red kite soaring, sharp eyed. In the distance below us, the smokey grey of the sea, all around us trees in new leaf so startlingly green against the crystal dome of sky that I lost my breath, senses sated. Colours so rich, the light so vibrant, that I couldn’t absorb it all. I had to stop.
To give God back that moment. The car creaking and sighing, ticking, as the engine cooled. Windows open for birdsong.
Drunk with that strange meld of deep sorrow for so much grief and death, and yet surging, defiant joy that God is good. That all He gives is good and He reigns supreme. And that He is love. A defiant knowledge. Exulting.
Sometimes, only by His gifting, we catch a little glimpse of God, and of heaven. We can’t schedule it, book a zoom meeting, reserve some small portion of our day for ecstasy. It comes at the strangest times; at three o clock in the morning after a dream of terror, in the middle of the day on a beautiful beach, as we reach for a loaf of bread in a busy shop, as we drive home full of drifting thoughts of His love and forgiveness, and sometimes it comes when we recognise how small we are and how great He is.
The red kite and me. Arrested in time, sharing that moment, His creatures.
His world, His love, His timing. His gift. Thank you. Even the desire to say thank you, His gift. Everything is His. Everything. Every letter on this screen, every desire to worship, every tear and every moment of love and surrender. All His.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 1-5
PS: No filter on that photo. As God made it.