31 Days in which I am Saved by Beauty – Day 8

I took my walk at Butterfly Beach today.
The shadows were long,
the temperature was unseasonably warm,
and I needed to breathe in the beach beauty
for a little while.

When I walk at the beach,
choosing instead to walk laps.
I pace up and down this long, level sidewalk,
edging the beach, and I marvel at the view.

The tide was high tonight,
with barely a beach to stand on.

It felt good to walk,
to stretch my legs,
standing tall in the fading sunlight,
sighing ‘thank you, thank you,’ 
with each step.

 This is my other sanctuary,
quite different from the one I wrote about last night.
Last night spoke to my hunger 
for the nearness of God,
the singular joys of being alone in the midst
of gathered community.

Today, I celebrated the bigness of God,
feeling myself puny, alone but not lonely,
relieved to not be in any way confused
with the person in charge of 
anything whatsoever.
I need them both, it seems.
I need physical reminders of God’s proximity
and of God’s distance,
of God’s willingness to become small,
and of God’s astounding immensity.

When I walk at Butterfly, I face both into
and away from the sun and the breeze.
One direction is cooler and things can be seen
in sharper outline than the other.
I like these contrasts,
I enjoy turning my face in a different direction,
and seeing the same thing from two sides.
This gull, for example.
Facing into the setting sun, 
he stands in silhouette,
dark against the shimmering sea.

But when I face away from the sun,
I see him in full color,
his subtle shades of gray and white,
that startlingly bright orange beak,
even his reflection on the wet sand. 

Right now, we are facing into a potentially difficult
situation for someone we love 
someone we love more than life.
When I think of her and pray for her,
remembering this experience today
is helpful, centering, yes, 
even calming.

Because today I had the momentary privilege
of seeing from two sides,
each beautiful in its own way.
Neither one is the whole picture.

We don’t get to see all that there is to see
in this life we lead.
We do see so much! 
So much that is beautiful,
in the way that we ordinarily define that word.
But there is more.
There is more than what we actually see
at any given moment in time.
And I am trusting that what I cannot
see just now
will have a beauty all its own. 

Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.

Sharing with Jennifer, Ann’s Wednesday group, Emily and Duane this time around.

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  1. Yes again to the path and his gracious way of allowing us to see in more ways than one when our hearts are heavy. I’m so glad you saw his nearness and captured it here. Praying with you on this path and sending a loving hug.

  2. Is this why I love the beach so much? And, no, we don’t get to see the thing from every direction–so frustrating. But I love this–both God’s proximity and distance.

  3. lindalouise says

    This brought tears Diana. The true beauty of it all. Praying for you dear one.

  4. Thank you for these words. They blessed my heart today.

  5. Glenda Childers says

    Holding you up, friend, as you hold your dear one up.

    Love the phrase, “alone but not lonely.”

  6. I saw your request through Jen and I am praying, praying, praying. Thank you for asking.

  7. My heart is with you, Diana.

  8. I love the way you weave “proximity” and “distance” . I think we dont handle either well. Either God is a buddy, a chum to pal around with, or the long haired, grumpy man in the cosmos. Your walk found a way to bring the two closer to home.

    Joining you in prayer

  9. Friends – my disqus system is once again acting up. I get your comments in my email inbox and always respond from there. So far, not one of those responses has actually shown up on the blog! Please know it is my intent to reply to every single comment I receive. Hopefully, they will drift over here soon. But it’s been 24 hours now and I’m not too hopeful.

  10. Out of all this beauty, this is what I love the most, perhaps because I just experienced it: “relieved to not be in any way confused with the person in charge of anything whatsoever” I am sharing in that relief with you.

  11. Jerri Miller says

    I like what you said, very much:

    There is more than what we actually see

    at any given moment in time.

    And I am trusting that what I cannot

    see just now

    will have a beauty all its own.

    It all comes down to trust. Either we do, or we don’t … I want to be numbered with those that do trust…

  12. Amen, Jerri. I do, too.

  13. Thank you, Linda. Appreciate those prayers.

  14. Thank you for letting me know that, Anne.

  15. Thank you, Glenda.

  16. Thanks so much, Amy.

  17. thanks, Sheila.

  18. such truth and beauty in your words:”

    There is more than what we actually see

    at any given moment in time.” I don’t know what the situation is, but I am praying God will sustain and guide you and your loved one.
    Hugs, Diana 🙂

  19. Thanks, David. Yes, I think we always need to find ways to help us keep both truths together without falling off the fence towards either ‘buddy-ism’ or ‘deism.’ Thanks for stopping by – I always appreciate see you.

  20. Thank you, Dolly. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving such kind words very much.