Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” If God is ever present, then His handwriting must be all around us. Perhaps it is time to search for it, to intentionally seek it out and see what messages have been left for us.
In my reflection of Emerson’s quote, I wonder how many opportunities I have missed out on. How many times have I been in a mad rush to accomplish my to do list and breezed right by a scene that could have taken my breath away? How many times was I wallowing in my own pity puddle of tears when I missed the joy inches from where I was standing? I am guilty of being absorbed in myself, my wants and my desires, so how do I change?
I like the saying, “progress, not perfection.” Let’s start there.
How can we all make progress to see more beauty in our days? By searching for it with passion. Think of it as our great scavenger hunt. Lets go out and seek out beauty. Let’s find God’s handwriting and then read it to see what it says.
I went out yesterday to pick raspberries with my mother in-law. I had seen raspberries before; rushed by them many times at the grocery store. Yesterday, I was searching for them. I was hunting through the patch of leaves, twigs, vines and bushes searching for these little red delicious berries. I found one or two ripened berries and glanced at the masses of green that was before me. My first thought was, this is going to be a lot of work for a few small berries. But, oh the sweetness of the berries, I had to keep going. Then I found a few more, and a few more.
I was really getting into this. I became a great berry hunter, never mind the thorny stems or the bugs who were also searching for sweet berries. I had a mission. What joy I experienced to lift a branch and find several ripened fruits dotting its underside. Then look, a couple more. Here’s some, there’s some. My bucket was beginning to fill, my spirits were being uplifted. But that was not then end of it, in sharing the berries at dinner with my family last night I was able to share the joy, to pass along some kindness to others.
To me, this is a great illustration about what the search for beauty feels like. It seems like tiny dots of sweetness amid a mass of prickly sticks with bugs on them that poke and scratch, making us want to walk away before we really begin. It is only after we begin that we find the motivation to continue.
What beauty have I seen along my search today? What are my sweet berries in this day? I heard my son’s laughter. I was blown a kiss from my daughter as I dropped her off for school. My daughters friend smiled radiantly and waved to me as I was about to turn to leave. I answered a friends cry for prayers being given a gracious gift to remind her how lovely she is. I saw the sun kiss the horizon as it travelled towards its daytime place in the sky. I felt the beauty of a mothers heart as I received a text that she was on her way to see her daughter who is in labor and about to become a mother herself.
What messages I have received from this beauty? Messages of hope. I am fun. I am needed. I am important. I am helpful. I am loved.
That is the beauty that I have found in my search today. What about you? What messages of beauty has God left you along your path?