Sometimes when it’s dark and cold outside, it’s hard to feel God’s love and presence in our lives. But we can still look for evidence of God’s grace and beauty all around us.
Have you ever asked God for some thing? We probably all have or at least in our heart’s desire wished for some thing.
I’ve found that when I ask for something in particular, what I really need is the understanding that God has already made you and me spiritually, perfectly, complete, free from sin or suffering. My prayer wakes me up to this fact. I gain a conscious awareness, a divine communion, with the spiritual facts of being. The underlying spiritual substance, if you will.
Christ comes to awaken us to see and know how God sees and knows. This is a moment by moment awakening and comes through deep consecration and communion with God — putting off the old self and ways and putting on the new self made in the image and glory of God. This selfhood radiates, shines and reflects the goodness, nature, beauty, poise, and power of God. It is humble, kind, and meek. It doesn’t hurt or tarnish.
So when you ask God for something, as I have, you may not always get the thing you asked for — the relationship, the house, the job. I remember two different times when I asked God for a specific thing — to marry my boyfriend and to move to a particular location. Neither worked out. Why?
Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.1
My desires needed to be molded and exalted. I needed to see the substance of what I needed was actually spiritual — love and peace — which I thought would come from these two particular things: my boyfriend and this one place.
when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!2
God already knows what we need, so God doesn’t necessarily need to be reminded. We are benefited by study and prayer because we become more aware of God’s perfection and goodness through the inspiration we receive, so we can trust and remind ourselves that God is already maintaining, sustaining us with all we need, and loving us.
Sometimes we need help to awaken to this consciousness, so that we can experience health, steady supply, purpose, and better relationships. We can ask for someone to pray with us, a friend, Pastor, or church community. When receptive hearts come together to listen for what God sees and does, blessings unfold.
Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color.1
Beauty is a thing of life….wow….isn’t that the truth. When I was a photographer, my job was to look through this lens of life to see beauty in the details. I did a photo series on shadows that were cast by light shining through blown glass. The reflections looked like abstract images of water. You could almost see faces, boats and other shapes in the series. Beauty is everywhere; all around us. Have you ever seen someone in whom light and joy radiated through their eyes? I have. This has since taught me that beauty is, indeed, a thing of life. Because it dwells in God, divine Mind, we can see it all around us.
For in Him we live and move and have our being.2
Being in awe of beauty is a therapeutic action (the Greek word therapeo means in English “to heal”3). Looking at the stars and moon, looking at the smile on a friends face, the sweet voice of a child, all remind me of God and God’s goodness. It is as if these are God’s faces, God’s smiles, and God’s laughter and voice. Perceiving beauty has therapeutic effects.
When I was in high school and college, I thought beauty was something I did — a way I acted or a way I dressed. I have since learned the beauty is not something we do; it is something we are. We shine because God is light. We reflect beauty because God is beautiful. We laugh because God expresses Her joy. We are like rays flowing out from the central sun, who is God. We are never disconnected from our Source, which is why we have the right to express all the beauty, poise, grace, love, energy that God has for us today. Nothing can stop it because nothing — no circumstance, physical ability, lack or limitation — can ever separate you from God, divine Love (even if you seem to be separated) for an instant.
Just like nothing separated me from God through past mistakes and lessons learned. We are one with the light of God, with the light and activity of Christ. We always have been and always will be. Seeing beauty around us is one way we can perceive the spiritual reality, God’s presence, all around us.
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.4
1 Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 247
2 Acts 17:28 NRSV
3 Emmanuel Y. Lartey, In Living Color: A Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling Second Edition, p. 55
4 Matthew 5:16 NRSV