Sunrise over Eagan, Minnesota, USA

Every day God sends us beautiful images in the nature all around us, but I often miss these gifts because my mind is too occupied with planning, working, worrying, and a host of other things.

Sometimes, as I am writing, I pause in my work and look out the window. On the day I took this picture (see the header image above) the sun’s rays were painting a lovely work of art. I know from past experience that such a view is fragile and easily lost. I dropped everything, grabbed my camera, and now I have something that reminds me of the simple-yet-awesome works of God.

What you do not see in this picture is that I live in a very ordinary suburb (okay, it’s a nice suburb, but not really unusual as far as suburbs go) with very ordinary things going on beneath this sky: commuters are packing their cars and sleepy teens are trudging toward the bus stop. Houses form a haphazard pattern on what was once a huge area of farmland, a place where once the woods met the wild prairie lands.

These other things are not shown in the photo so that we might focus our hearts and minds on something other than our own doings for a moment: to observe the great beauty in this world, even in the midst of what can seem at times a real drag of work, day in, day out.

I believe God is immanently present to us, in our hearts, our work, our play, and our relationships. I also think that sometimes we need a sunrise like this to help us remember that God is also transcendent. The light in the sky reminds me that there is something beyond my own petty worries and obsessions. Whatever the sorrow and suffering in life—and there truly is a lot of that—God still loves us and wants to bring us to something better, something filled with love and beauty.

For reflection: Did you ever see a simple work of nature that warmed your heart, perhaps on the most ordinary of days?

4 thoughts on “Sunrise over Eagan, Minnesota, USA

  1. Mom

    I was what was called in the 1980’s a “displaced homemaker”. After 26 years of being wife and mother, I found myself going to college for the first time; what a scary experience!
    One winter morning, as I walked the sidewalks of Phoenix College still wondering how in the world I could pull off getting a 2-or maybe 4-year education, I looked down at the rye grass. Well, there: tiny straws of emerald, dripping diamonds of dew. The beauty was so startling and pure that I felt a great burst of pleasure.
    God has given us a beautiful world; in today’s rush for eveything electronic, we forget to pause for a humble “thank you” to Him . . .
    Thank You, Heavenly Father!

  2. Claudia McCarty

    Julie, Your site is awesome and I’m not saying that because I am also a McCarty and your sister -in-law.
    A great photo like the one above or any random real time apparition of nature has the power to help us slow down to appreciate what we often fail to notice and appreciate. It’s no wonder that one of the most popular you tube videos this year is just a guy admiring a double rainbow.
    But the opposite effect may occur as well…
    Last weekend my significant other and I were sitting in bed watching college football when the afternoon sun began streaming through the tall windows casting delicate light and dark shadows on the wall. One of the light areas formed a perfect little heart which amazed me, calling me to capture it in permanent digital memory. We had just bought a new camera so I hurried to snap the photo because my heart (beauty also causes possessiveness) was quickly morphing into nothingness. Low and behold I forgot to turn the flash off which only produced a white blob. Neither of us had yet learned how to turn the flash off so while we were fumbling we lost the chance to catch our heart altogether. It soon faded into what I thought was an ugly fox’s face.
    Maybe we aren’t meant to do more than appreciate something for what it is rather than trying to possess it and, even maybe try and digitally enhance it! What’s more, if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to memorialize it I would have had that much more time to enjoy it.

    Love your blog Julie. Love Claudia

  3. Jeff Grant

    Thank you, Julie, for reminding us of what’s REALLY important not only in this world, but eternally. Imagine! God loves us so much that he gives us images like this one to enjoy.
    Now, just imagine how much more awesome the image of His eternal home will be with his sons and daughters. (1 Cor. 2:9)
    Blessings always to you and Terry.

    Jeff

  4. Eileen

    I find strength, contentment and peace each day as I see all the beauty of God’s creation.
    As I viewed the Grand Canyon several years ago for the second time in my life, I was struck by the absolute awesome power of God..as soon as I looked out over the Canyon.
    But I also see the absolute awesomeness of God..in the little quail birds that are outside my window here, and the simple joys of the sounds and smells of the desert air each day.
    God has given me so much ‘joy’ by just letting me experience him through the wonder of his presence.
    If you are attentive in your life, you can feel and see his presence every place.

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