Some days, the sunlight hits the flowers in the most beautiful of ways.
The cut hydrangeas sit on my desk in front of the windows, in a round vase that reminds me of a marble. I like to think the vase is handblown, purchased in some tourist town gift shop, but I don’t know its history.
I bought it for a dollar or so at a neighbor’s estate sale, but it’s worth much more than that to me.
Though I like the vase independent of its original owner, it’s meaning is tied to her in my memory. She was a friend, and the one person I’ve called 911 for, and one of the few whose deathbed I’ve visited. Though I suppose you couldn’t say we were particularly close, these experiences leave an impact.
Not that I constantly examine them. I can go weeks without thinking of her, but then the sun will hit the papery petals of the hydrangea, and I’ll slow down to write, not knowing where the post will go. As words come, I find the vase is filled not with water and stems, but with a quiet reminder of a relationship.
Reminders of God are Everywhere
I didn’t sit at my desk to look at the flowers or to type a post. I sat to read a Bible passage and to journal about how Jesus’s love for me is reflected in Colossians 1:15-23.
For all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. (vs. 16-17 NET)
Everything around me is created through him and for him. It’s all held together in him.
This is so much more than a casual, once-upon-a-time ownership of a vase. Jesus’s relationship with his creation is ongoing and intricate and purposeful.
I paid a dollar for a keepsake to remember a relationship I lost.
Jesus paid his blood, his life, to redeem a relationship I’d severed.
The reminders I have of my neighbor are few. The vase, and a teacup where I keep my more special jewelry.
The reminders of God’s redeeming love and ongoing care are literally everywhere. Everything is held together in Him. Everything.
Reminders of the Holy
And yet, like I often don’t pause to look at the vase and remember my neighbor, I also don’t often enough pause to look at the world around me and appreciate the reminder of the relationship I have with the Creator and Sustainer.
But then the sun will hit the papery petals of the hydrangea, and God will guide me here. I’ll type slowly, not knowing exactly how to say, Look, the earth is full of his glory. It’s not filled with mountains and animals and prairies and people, but with evidence of a relationship.
A relationship that’s ongoing, despite our fallen nature. A relationship that means enough to the Creator to die for the sake of His created. Washed in His blood, all the evidences of Him we see in the world around us aren’t melancholy reminders of a relationship we lost—like my vase is—but rather of the ultimate redemption and hope that reaches beyond the grave and into eternity.
I have to believe God wants us to see it. I have to believe that’s why, sometimes, the light hits just right and interrupts our mundane day with reminders of the holy.
Let’s pause when those moments come. Let’s go so far as to seek them out, not to fulfill our own thirst for beauty, but to remember the goodness of our Savior. Let’s echo the seraphim, who cried out to each other:
Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:3 KJV)
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