The world of magazines and I don't meet very often because of my busy schedule. But sitting in the waiting room while my son had his teeth cleaned afforded me time to indulge.
Scanning the multitude of choices in the rack, I immediately settled on a cover photo of the most beautiful bouquet of purple flowers I'd ever seen. The sense of pure perfection captured in the photographs and the amazing creativity beyond the common were captivating.
That was a number of years ago, and although I love the creative ideas that some magazines offer, there are few I have the time to pursue. But somehow knowing that someone can pursue them lifts the possibility of grace into a reality I cherish. True grace and beauty are rooted in something far bigger than any individual. And each of us has access to their divine source.
A writer, for example, has wonderful moments when everything comes together to honor the infinite - when words become ideas and the ideas embrace us like love, and lift us to a clearer view of our relationship to God.
Knowing that those moments of perfection don't belong to a person but that they are reflected, that they originate in God, frees the one expressing them from being the target of envy and those appreciating them from jealousy. It lifts thought into the infinite source of all good where all are free to express God's goodness.
Getting to those moments where thought soars, free of self, when God's amazing qualities are pure and clear, often requires a battle with a side of our nature that doubts and fears and lacks confidence.
Each battle won, however, makes us stronger and sets our feet more firmly in the infinite. Limiting thoughts arguing "I can't" are put out, and we can better reflect our true Godlike possibilities.
When I fall short, I try to remember that what God knows of me is only good. That the mistakes I make are because of my ignorance of God, and that they are forgiven in a fuller recognition of God as the only legitimate cause and source of my life.
A passage from the Bible's book of Psalms says: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there" (139:7, 8).
The saving love of God and His eternal parenting are always with us, both in our successes and in our trials. We can always turn to God and find comfort and guidance. His will is to bless and uplift, not to tear down or destroy. He is a loving God, and we are His cherished children always.
The "common" is beautiful in the perfection of God's infinite nature. Knowing that you and I have access to the expression of God and His spiritual qualities opens thought to a lifetime of discovery. It feeds our spiritual hunger as nothing on earth can.
The exhilarating expression of God's goodness in anything we might do - setting a beautiful table, building a bookshelf, or writing a poem - are satisfying glimpses of God's presence and of our ability to express Him.
As with a child learning to walk, the outstretched arms of the parent encourage, uplift, and rejoice until the child's footsteps are sure.
Our world will be a kinder and gentler place as we encourage and praise one another for the good steps taken, remembering that it is God who walks with us.
God is able
to make all grace
abound toward you;
that ye, always having
all sufficiency in all things,
to every good work.
II Corinthians 9:8