In the tranquility of nature, I let God massage my soul. The birds’ songs still any anxiety and iron my worries flat, smooth as the glassy water reflecting back all that is. The reflection is as revealing as the real. My friend even spotted the moon in the clouds in the water before we could actually spot it in the sky.
I have always loved the outdoors. As a child, my siblings and I spent hours playing in the front or back yard, climbing trees in the summer or skating in the homemade ice rink in the winter. The neighbourhood kids could be found somewhere on our block, childhood games occupying us for hours until a mother’s voice would shout out that it was supper time. We would ignore it for the first few times but we know if a mother started calling any of us by our names, there would be trouble if we did not respond immediately.
Out here in lake country, where I spent my weekend, I can breathe deeply. I have slowed enough to finish Kara Tippets’ touching memoir, And it was Beautiful. I quietly wept several times, sitting alone in the sun, in the midst of creation. The pages, like the water, reflected back my own experience of cancer, my similar fears, and my own recognition of the Love that surrounds and upholds me.
Kara wrote that the love of God will give us protection, even in the hardest of hard. It is in our very skin. I remembered during my 2014 pilgrimage , seeing a carving of St Catherine Labouré kneeling before the Virgin Mary with the inscription, The protection of God is always there. I have come back to those words dozens of times over these past two years and now Kara has provided me with a new insight–protection is promised because of God’s abiding Love. God never leaves us in the hardest of hard. As Kara found solace knowing that this love and protection was extended to her loved ones, so do I.
I sat there in such Beauty and let the words wash over me. God will grant us protection through the darkest of dark, the hardest of hard, and the saddest of sad. God who, clothed as a human, came to earth, knows full well our struggles and sorrows. I know that God knows my heart and that of those who walk with me. Whatever happens, each of us will find our way to solid ground, under the protection and Love of the Creator.
What is reflected back to you when you slow down long enough to breathe deeply?
Do you have glimpses of God’s constant protection in your life?
Here, in this holy place, it is easy to see
You, reflected everywhere
To see the Truth shimmering before us
Waiting to be embraced.
In the mountains and the valleys
You are there
Give me faith to believe that
in the hardest of hard,
You are indeed there.