An offering from Lee: Places can bring God to our hearts and minds…

What feelings does this picture invoke in you?

Places can hold memories or create new ones. Memories of joy and sadness, of feeling close to God or painful times when God feels so far away. Our “cabin in a field” experiences are different for each of us, and differ every day.

(C) Bonnie Oden

(C) Bonnie Oden

As I write this I am sitting on the beach, watching the Gulf of Mexico rolling back and forth on the sand. I’m sitting here looking at the gulf and listening to the water. Looking at it and listening to it is my favorite part. I don’t like getting into sea water very much or sand. I can understand why some people love the beach because of the listening and looking part that I like. I prefer the mountains though. It seems like people either prefer God in the mountains or at the beach. I mean, feel God’s presence there. Intellectually, we all know God is at/in both places but it seems like one of these two places makes your heart soar. Living in Texas I have also learned to find God’s presence in lakes and trees since there just aren’t many mountains in this state! (Bloom where you’re planted!)

The place in this picture could be special; an old cabin and pasture. I love cabins. I love to visit them and relax. Though it could be this cabin is old enough it was someone’s actual home. My imagination then takes a different turn. One of a pioneer life, where things are very much harder than my life or experience of cabins! Having to work from morning to night just to have food, not a lot of relaxing in that case. I like to go to a cabin for a weekend to be alone but I don’t want to live all the time out in the middle of nowhere all alone.

Places can bring God to our hearts and minds. There are lots of places that can be a blessing to us. There are many ways that God blesses us and place is just one of them. In the Beatitudes, we see a list of many ways that God blesses us. Every time I read the Beatitudes that is one thing that strikes me. How every one of the Beatitudes starts with who or what God blesses. Like the pioneers, God’s blessings may be hard and a lot of work, but like the place it might be beautiful and awe inspiring. Like the places we may easily feel God’s presence in them. My experience is that God’s blessings are usually some of both. Blessings of exploration and new creations and blessings of belonging usually are hard work and beautiful and awe inspiring. Just like the blessings in the Beatitudes!

(c) 2015 Rev. Lee Self

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