Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, “I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwoods.” Her words came to mind as I stood under the magnolia tree in our church courtyard. It is my favorite tree on the property and I was REALLY hoping it would bloom for Easter weekend but miracles happen in God’s good time. The buds are the size of my palm and the ones at the tips of the most sun kissed branches are on the verge of opening. From the outside they are creamy white but as the nine petals of each flower relax, hues of fuschia and yellow can be seen inside the blossom. You would never guess such an old grey trunk with brittle twigs could still produce such a stunning show of life. It’s beside this tree I feel the presence of God. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
Seizing those opportunities to notice the splendor of God in small glimpses of nature can require spiritual discipline, especially in our urban environment. How many wonderful love notes we miss in our hurry or distraction. A bit of time and effort can reveal just how close the echoes of heaven are to us. When we stop and sniff the flowers, or nuzzle that pup, or taste the juice of ripe fruit, the Spirit is cupping our face in Its hands and whispering wonderful blessings to our soul. Don’t miss these moments because they are as miraculous as they are fleeting. A tree in bloom today can be washed bare by tomorrow’s rain. Thankfully God’s mercy is new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). He prepares a fresh suite of opportunities to see, hear, touch and taste His grace and stand on His holy ground.