Heaven in a Wildflower
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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.—Psalm 19:1 (NIV)
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.—Romans 1:20 (NLT)
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I am often asked if I am not lonely on my solitary excursions. It seems so self-evident that one cannot be lonesome where everything is wild and beautiful and busy and steeped with God that the question is hard to answer.—John Muir
God’s creation is the greatest proof of His existence.—David Brandt Berg
“What is this God?” I asked the earth, and it answered, “I am not He,” and all things that are in the earth made the same confession. I asked the sea and the deeps and the creeping things, and they answered, “We are not your God; seek higher.” I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and they answered, “Neither are we the God whom you seek.” And I said to all the things that throng about the gateways of the senses, “Tell me something of Him.” And they cried out in a great voice, “He made us.” My questions were my gazing upon them, and their answer was their beauty. I asked the whole frame of the universe about my God and it answered me, “I am not He, but He made me.”—Saint Augustine
To See a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.―Walt Whitman
Wonder is the basis of worship.—Thomas Carlyle
I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was, because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.—Donald Miller
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.—Job 5:9 (NIV)
We are so impressed by scientific clank that we feel we ought not to say that the sunflower turns because it knows where the sun is. It is almost second nature to us to prefer explanations … with a large vocabulary. We are much more comfortable when we are assured that the sunflower turns because it is heliotropic. The trouble with that kind of talk is that it tempts us to think that we know what the sunflower is up to. But we don't. The sunflower is a mystery, just as every single thing in the universe is.—Robert Farrer Capon
No human being, no human spirit is created without the touch of the divine, the touch of the hand of God.—David Brandt Berg
The Bible is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. That is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air, and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances, will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine—which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes.—Wendell Berry
Two things fill me with constantly increasing admiration and awe, the longer and more earnestly I reflect on them: the starry heavens without and the moral law within.—Immanuel Kant
God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds—and I think that he made them partly as a balance for that kind of civilization that would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts. He made the great open places for the people who want to be alone with him and talk to him, away from the crowds that kill all reverence. And I think that he is glad at times to have us forget our cares and responsibilities that we may be nearer him—as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.—Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.―Ralph Waldo Emerson
If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life.—Albert Schweitzer
I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.—E. E. Cummings
One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things, but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them, whose garment and revelation they are—if he be such, I say, he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.—George MacDonald
God is like the light. Wonder is like the shadow. If you chase the shadow, you will never catch up to it. It might even disappear. If you walk toward the light, the shadow will always pursue you. That is when the heart sings with gladness. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow all the days of my life.”—Ravi Zacharias
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.—G. K. Chesterton
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the air nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.
The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the pine trees.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
The moon marks off the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then man goes out to his work,
to his labor until evening.
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
—Psalm 104:1–34 (NIV)
Published on Anchor January 2013. Read by Tina Miles. Music by Michael Dooley.