In Others’ Words: Beauty

 

“Beauty …. is the shadow of God on the universe.” ~  Gabriela Mistral, Chilean Poet, Desolacion (a poem)


One of the advantages of living in Colorado is that I get to savor the most a-ma-zing sunrises and sunsets. We’ve lived here 13 1/2 years now, and I haven’t seen the same sunset twice. The colors are stunning: vivid oranges, startling pinks, deep purples …. My favorite sunsets are when the sun disappears behind Pikes Peak and the mountain is backlit, as if it’s on fire.

Beautiful.

And, yes, I catch a glimpse of God-the-Creator in those sunsets.

 

 

In Your Words: Where has God cast his shadow across your world in a particular moment of beauty?

 

 

Photos taken by my husband, Rob, on March 13, 2012. (Thanks, love!)
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35 Comments

  1. March 14, 2012, 6:22 am   /  Reply

    I think I felt this last night when my middle daughter ran to my bed to be comforted. Holding her, running my fingers through her hair to comfort her–it all felt beautiful.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 6:48 am   /  Reply

      Such a beautifully painted picture, Wendy.

  2. March 14, 2012, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful quote and pics. In college unbelieving profs told me Chris. life is boring but they were so wrong. The truth is there’s constancy but no sameness in Him, always new and going further. I’ve seen my favorite scene a few times and frequently in my mind’s eye: rows of mountain peaks and crested ridges falling back row on row like massive ocean waves–all bearing His fingerprints–love that!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 7:53 am   /  Reply

      Love this, Dee:
      The truth is there’s constancy but no sameness in Him …
      welll said.

  3. March 14, 2012, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    I remember standing on a little ridge over looking Yorkshire in England. So beautiful. So green. And the thought in my head was, “Whoa, that’s cool, God!”

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 7:52 am   /  Reply

      🙂

  4. Karen S. Elliott
    March 14, 2012, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    I lived in New Mexico for ten years, and I feel the same way about sunrises and sunsets – never the same one twice. And when there were a few clouds here and there, it was even more beautiful. Just looking at the mountains gave me an ‘ahh’ moment. I have seen a few spectacular sunrises and sunsets here in North Dakota. I think not enough people stop to look when they see something beautiful, or stop to listen. I marvel at His hand in everything wonderful I do find in my life, and appreciate those special moments.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 7:52 am   /  Reply

      Karen,
      I have to remind myself to stop sometimes and lift my eyes and look … at the mountains that surround me every minute of the day. Such beauty. I can easily take it for granted.

  5. Jeanne T
    March 14, 2012, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    I so agree, Beth! Colorado sunrises and sunsets are the best! My kids and I love to watch colors paint across the sky in the mornings. Sometimes I see His shadow before I see the beauty in my life. Many years ago, during my first year of teaching a very difficult fifth grade class, I’d had a poor observation by my principal. As I stared out at the desert outside my classoom and cotton clouds skating across a blue sky, God practically spoke these words to my heart: “I have not brought you here to abandon you.” Those words spoke beauty and hope into my life that day. 🙂 I ended up staying at that school for four years, until I married and began the grand adventure as an Air Force Wife. 🙂

    Thanks for the great question, it really made me think.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 7:51 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for sharing how a glimpse of God’s shadow can provide us hope, Jeanne.

  6. March 14, 2012, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    Oh yes, Arizona has surprisingly gorgeous sunsets and sunrises too. I love AZ in the late summer evenings, when there are storms we call “monsoons”–essentially, warm rain and lightning whisking across a red/pink sky. The power and majesty of God in those moments is undeniable.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 7:49 am   /  Reply

      I’ve only been to AZ once — a quick trip for a wedding. Didn’t really get time to watch the sunsets or sunrises. Maybe next time.

  7. March 14, 2012, 8:30 am   /  Reply

    I agree with you about sunsets and sunrises. I am a sucker for the colours. However my favourite God moments are at waterfalls. I am mesmerized by their beauty and structure and there are never two alike.

    Thanks for the quote Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 9:44 am   /  Reply

      Jodi,
      I love waterfalls too.
      The sound as well as the sight of them.

  8. March 14, 2012, 9:15 am   /  Reply

    Holding my baby is the most beautiful expression of God and His love I can think of. How anyone can watch a child grow, can love a child so deeply and not believe in God and His love is beyond me.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 9:44 am   /  Reply

      True, TC. True.

  9. March 14, 2012, 10:12 am   /  Reply

    I took a long walk yesterday in the pouring rain and had a wonderful time. After our extremely dry winter here in the Sierra Foothills of California, I was grateful for the big drops falling on me. Since I was clad in rain gear, I was warm and comfy.

    During my six-mile walk on my favorite trail, I only saw two other people. Normally the trail is heavily used. But not in the rain. Yes, many of my fellow Californians are weather wimps. A sad fact, but true. The solitude was a gift in the midst of my usual busyness.

    I saw many birds. They were out in droves, or should I say coveys, since many of them were quail? Like me, they seemed to welcome the rain. I enjoyed the sound of the raindrops hitting my hood, the swish of my nylon rain pants, and the wealth of birdsong.

    This was the first big rain since I began my exercise regimen in November and my first walk in the wet stuff. People had told me I might find that I enjoyed the experience, and I found that to be the case. I marveled in the beauty all around me, beauty bathed in much-needed water from above. Just as the rain fed the parched earth, my soul feasted on God’s handiwork and His provision.

    • March 14, 2012, 10:13 am   /  Reply

      Oops! I didn’t mean to write a novella. See how your post inspired me, Beth? Well done.

      • Beth Vogt
        March 14, 2012, 11:40 am   /  Reply

        I loved reading every word of your post, Keli.
        🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 11:40 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for taking me on that walk with you, Keli.
      I feel refreshed.

  10. Loree Huebner
    March 14, 2012, 10:48 am   /  Reply

    I love that quote! So true.

    I am a sunset nut. I watch the colors change as the sun sinks down on the horizon, I think of God painting that picture just for me.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 11:41 am   /  Reply

      While we watched the sun set last night, I asked God for an especially beautiful one so we could post some stunning photos.
      He answered a stunning “Yes,” didn’t He?

  11. terri tiffany
    March 14, 2012, 12:32 pm   /  Reply

    Just a few minutes ago as I sit here at my desk I looked out my window and watched the birds play in the bare tree that hasn’t yet started to leave. (I hope it isn’t dead)

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 2:24 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks for sharing the view outside your window, Terri.

  12. March 14, 2012, 1:56 pm   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth, I just want to get lost in your beautiful photos. Molten light fingerpainted by God over those breathtaking mountains – just stops your heart, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing His beauty. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 2:24 pm   /  Reply

      I thought the clouds looked like molten lava too, Donna.

  13. Patti Mallett
    March 14, 2012, 2:32 pm   /  Reply

    God certainly did give you a lovely sunset to capture for us today, Beth! Thanks for the thought-provoking post and the comments. You all have been my lunch companions as I munched a salad w/ tuna, reading and pondering your words and allowing sweet memories to pass through my mind.

    Keli, I traveled with you, smelling and feeling the rain. Wendy, I stroked your daughter’s hair with you. I thought of birds and the births of my three children. Waterfalls and green valleys, and mountain peeks. After four or five days in Arizona, many years ago, its beauty is still with me. Your post, Beth, took me back.

    As yet, no one has mentioned oceans. For six weeks I woke to sunrises over the ocean and closed down the day to sunsets over the inlet. Each morning, I was on the front deck, facing straight ahead, with my camera and cup of hot tea. Each evening, I ducked out the kitchen’s sliding glass door to watch the sunset over the star-shaped portion of water to my left. Every day was an adventure of peaceful wandering, my senses on quiet alert for the beauty that was everywhere, sparkling in the glint of sun on sand, sea oats blowing, surf with its steady rhythm that centers us humans to our core. “Thank You, God !” was constantly in my mind and often on my lips.

    This was 2007 and it was the culmination of what God had been doing in my life, in the way of both physical and emotional healing. He startled me by calling me away for a time, to write but mostly to soak in His love in a place He knew I would feel immediately at home. On week-ends I was joined by another of God’s beautiful creations, one of my closest friends who lived lived less than an hour away. We would sit out under the stars at night, hot drink in hand, wrapped in a blanket, breathing it all in, often praying together, in an outpouring of thanksgiving.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 4:09 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, Patti, thank you for bringing us seaside today.
      I feel so close to God when I walk along the shore. I love the immensity of the ocean. The sound of the surf … the feel of the salt-scented breeze …

      Yes, I see God’s shadow at the ocean.

      • Patti Mallett
        March 14, 2012, 6:53 pm   /  Reply

        I appreciate the time you take to answer back, Beth.

        • Beth Vogt
          March 14, 2012, 7:07 pm   /  Reply

          It’s a conversation, Patti. I love the back and forth flow of words.

          • Patti Mallett
            March 14, 2012, 10:33 pm   / 

            Me, too!

  14. March 14, 2012, 8:54 pm   /  Reply

    Oh wow, those pictures are gorgeous, Beth.

    We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day here today. One of my favorite moments was feeling a perfect breeze just as I started to get too warm. It was as if God was my personal fan. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 14, 2012, 9:12 pm   /  Reply

      I like the way you think, Sarah.

      • Patti Mallett
        March 14, 2012, 10:33 pm   /  Reply

        That last line is one I feel certain is going to stay with me! God as your personal fan. He so often does things that are just to let us know He is there.

  15. March 15, 2012, 8:14 am   /  Reply

    I love sunrise, sunset, waterfalls, trees–pretty much all of nature! I love the calming, hopeful feeling I get just looking at them 🙂

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