Mackinaw Christian Church

In the Way of Beauty

Hello friends,

A little under a month ago I went on vacation and spent the weekend near lake Michigan with my sister. And on Sunday we went to the lake. It was a day when it rained on and off. Due to COVID all of our plans were outside and we were more stubborn than normal about these plans because our other option was to be in the Airbnb all day. So…we were trying. Our plan was to go to the beach and journal and then hike some.

We were on the beach for a bit, when it started to rain. Ugh! We gathered our journals and ran to the car. But, instead of giving up and going back to our Airbnb we decided to see if the rain would go away again and while it rained we would hike in the forest near by. We had some rain gear and we figured we would get some shelter from the trees. Thankfully, it never rained too hard and we were able to hike and remain mostly dry. When we came out of the forest an hour later the rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to set over the lake.

My sister and I found a place to sit that sheltered us from the wind a bit and watched the sun go down. After a few minutes, my sister turned, “Are you ready to go?” I looked at her. I wanted to agree (because I like to be agreeable) but I also really wanted to stay. She got the message. “Let’s watch it go all the way.” So we continued to sit and watch. We watched clouds go by, waves come in and out, and the sun slowly, yet quickly, go down.

I can’t remember the last time I watched an entire sunset. I often get snippets of one. And I am always grateful for those glimpses, but I rarely stop. I rarely feel I am able to. It seems like I am always going somewhere or in the midst of something. But that day we could stop. There was nothing stopping us and no buildings were in the way of us seeing.

There is a quote that I love from the movie, Wild. The protagonist’s mom, who had a way of finding joy and beauty even in the midst of hardship, would often tell her daughter, ” ‘There’s a sunrise and a sunset every day, and you can choose to be there for it — you can put yourself in the way of beauty.” We might not be able to put ourselves in front of a sunrise or sunset every day. But what ways can we put ourselves in the way of beauty?

I saw a friend post about buying day old flowers for herself at Kroger. That is putting ourselves in the way of beauty. I think of all the trees that are changing. Go say hello to them. Put yourself in the way of beauty. For beauty of creation is one of God’s gifts and our souls rejoice and are restored by the beauty God has gifted us.

If you feel moved please share a picture of something beautiful. Show us how you are putting yourself in the way of beauty today.

Peace be with you all,

Pastor Judith