Sanctuary in Plain Sight

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Erin Kennedy


I am a bit of an amateur photog. I started the hobby as a young girl, taking photos of my Mom’s absolutely stunning garden, zooming in on those beautiful patches of sprightly and fragrant glory as close as my Pentax K100 would allow, freezing their sublime majesty and detail to memory. I particularly enjoyed taking pictures just past dawn to capture the jiggling dew still perched upon quivering and laden emerald leaves, or at dusk to seize that perfect moment when the warmth of the golden sunset would seep through petals and leaves, and dapple the ground in exquisite glory. There was nothing I wouldn’t take a close-up of, and as I did, my awe would grow. Nothing has changed! I still take photographs in stunning detail with my phone, and I am still astonished by beauty in the tiniest corners of creation, right before our eyes and under our noses, that we’re largely too busy and preoccupied to see! 

Recently, I was looking over photos that I’d long ago taken, and one seemed to stand out in particular. I was transfixed by its every detail. A picture of what I called, The Secret Place: a close-up of two insects settled deep inside the heart of a lily. 

Take a look at it with me! 

How rich and varied in depth and shades of yellow, with tips and licks of melon-orange and buttery blonde! How the sun illumines little patches here and there, enough that the whole is warmly lit, framed in glowing and inviting radiance! Look at how parts of this little retreat resemble somewhat the inside pin-stripes of a lemon. How the different textures all seamlessly wove together: the ottoman-shaped soft and lushly padded cushion punctuating its centre flawlessly sewn together with the raised variegated streaks, all harmoniously flowing into the Tuscan-sun yellow awning of delicate broad petals reaching beyond the frame of the picture.  Look at how the transparent glow of the walls seems to highlight the contrast and draw the eye to the little creatures! How delicate their legs, and how handsome their stripes! How at home they look, and how secure they appear to be as they walk about in freedom in that soft and vulnerable place, totally unruffled by this photographer.

A perfect sanctuary within the expanse of all Creation, created in glorious detail by The Master Gardener! And yet, as the early summer arrives, this bloom will fade and fall, returning to the soft earth from which it grew.

“To notice what is in plain sight requires presence; requires being present,” Holy Spirit whispers. “Presence, my dear one, requires living every moment in the Now, for this is where I am. I do not fail or fall, nor return to dust. I am the I AM, not the “I was”, not the “I will be.” I am present. In plain sight. A secret place of warmth, refreshment, strength, peace, revelation, unconditional and unfailing love, of life itself for your spirit, mind, body and soul. A secret place of safety, refuge, restoration, comfort, healing and where faith is renewed and hope reignited. A secret place to linger, and rest with your head upon my soft breast. A secret place to drink in glory, right in plain sight, tucked away from the bustle and curious eyes, even in the very tiniest corners of your life!” 

Come, my friend. In the midst of all the noise and distraction of our daily lives, let us accept our Abba’s invitation to be present in each moment that is today. Present to marvel His majestic beauty; present to simply be with Him, so that we in turn are fully His Presence wherever we happen to be!

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