Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living in the Dazzle

Our pastor once said, "When you catch dazzling glimpses of God, you will affect those around you." I have experienced times in life where I felt God's presence right where I stood;  I felt His glory all around me.  When those moments ocurr, the troubling things of earth seem strangely dim.

I caught a dazzling glimpse of Him one day towards the end of September last year.  My photography group had gone to Kansas for the weekend to shoot pictures of sunflower fields.  Rodney and I went with them and had a great time.  There were many beautiful scenes to photograph, but we couldn't find any sunflower fields.  There were wild sunflowers along the highway but that wasn't quite what we were looking for.  Still, our group had a great time together just taking in the countryside and enjoying each others company.  But I know that Rodney could sense I was disappointed that we hadn't found the sunflower fields.








On the second day, we broke off from the rest of the group to spend a little alone time.  We drove wherever the road led us and I was able to take a lot of great shots.  There were corn fields, barns, cats, wildflowers...but still, no sunflower fields.

We went home with wonderful pictures...but none of what we actually went there to capture.  The following Saturday, when we woke up Rodney said, "C'mon, lets go find those sunflower fields." It meant so much to me that he would give up another Saturday just to make me happy. We loaded up the car with snacks, my mother-in-law and our son and headed back to Kansas in search of the sunflower fields.








This time, we actually passed some fields along the highway, but the sunflowers were dead and brown.  My hopes were sagging as I tried not to show my disappointment.  We stopped to take more pictures of wild flowers and a beautiful purple thistle that I had never seen before.  We could see the last vestiges of summer trying to hold on, but autumn was definitely on it's way
.
Rodney got off the highway and turned onto a dirt road.  We drove slowly as to not kick up any dust and I got out of the car every once in a while to take some pictures.  There were lots of things that caught our eye that we wanted to photograph.

Just as I was getting ready to say, "Honey, I just don't think we are going to find the sunflowers", he pulled to the side of the road and said, "Look up there."  I got out of the car and looked to my right.  And there it was!  A sunflower field, in full bloom, as far as the eye could see!  At that exact moment, I remembered my pastor's words about the "dazzle of God". 

I ran up and stood in the middle of the field, turning in every direction.  I was drinking it all in, even the smell...sunflower seeds!!!  They were beautiful from the front; they were beautiful from the back.  They were spectacular up close and from far away.  The unopened buds were the most peculiar things I had ever seen.  I just felt like I was standing right in the middle of something magical.  I was caught up in the dazzle of God.  And it affected me.  Don't ask me why, don't try to figure it out...it just did.  It was like watching a perfect sunset or seeing a newborn's face.  
 
My husband, son and mother-in-law took great pleasure in my reaction.  They were enjoying the sunflowers too, but as they got caught up in my enthusiasm, they began to appreciate the scene almost as much as I did. 

My hope for you is that you have moments when you catch dazzling glimpses of God...moments that take your breath away; when you just know that you know that you know, that you are in the midst of something beyond human design and handiwork.  Let those dazzling glimpses of God affect you so that you can go affect others!











13 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, fabulous photos! Now I want to go there, too! Wonderful story about patience, too.

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  2. When I was single, the transcendent moments you describe happened mostly when I was in awesome (in the true meaning of the word) places in nature, e.g. National Parks. Now that I'm married and have a child those moments almost always come from times with them. And that is the point of my comment. My takeaway from your post wasn't the sunflowers and other lovely sights you photographed, it was your husband and family piling in the car, yet again, in search of something they knew would make you happy.

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  3. Yes, that is true! The people who make us feel so special are the best gift of all! I do have an amazing family!

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  4. Your blog is always so sweet, Erin. I'm so glad you share like you do, thank you.

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  5. Oh, how fun! Loved this. And what a sweet hubby! Your photos are wonderful! Blessings to you! :D

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  6. Thank you, Susan. I really enjoy writing it! I have the best hubby, Lynn!

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  7. OH Erin! YOU are a dazzling glimpse of God! Thank you for sharing this; brought back memories of my bestest friend in CA...she calls me randomly - in tears - because of something/someone/someplace that has touched her heart, and she, too, is dazzled :) You bring a little piece of Cindy to OK for me!! Thank you.....

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  8. Brandy, are goosebumps good?? Dj, I'm glad to bring a reminder of your friend. I know that she thinks you are just as precious!!!

    ~Erin

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  9. Great post, Erin. I just finished reading Hinds Feet in High Places which was written by Hannah Hurnard while in the Swiss Alps. It makes many references to the dazzling glimpses of God found in nature. We just have to take the time to slow down and look or go back and look again. The pics are wonderful! Glad your hubby took you to High Places out in a flat Kansas field of sunflowers.

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  10. erin, you always know what to say to me at the right time...you are such a blessing in my life....
    I love you,
    Amanda

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  11. That God - - such an amazing artist. To bring such dazzling beauty to His people when He didn't have to. He could have made sunflowers functional and boring and we still would have had sunflower seeds! But instead, He chose to gift us through nature in such a way that we get to see tiny glimmers of heaven in the choicest of things - sunsets, the ocean, flowers, mountains, a child's laughter, and yes - in a sunflower field in Kansas.

    Love you - Dianne

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  12. OH I love this, so much! It is so true. I used to always pray for wonder. That I would remain in awe and wonder over the beautiful things he makes and does. Thank you so much for sharing! Beautiful pictures too. :)

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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