Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
-Elizabeth Barret Browning
The words above from Elizabeth Barrett Browning remind me of the incredible sacred beauty and grace that is all around me. And, if it’s all around me, then perhaps some of that sacred presence dwells within me, too. I took this photo recently while on retreat. It was taken in a Minnesota forest on the edge of a boggy area on a crisp fall day. I was overwhelmed for a moment at the goodness of God to have given us so much wonder and beauty, and I prayed for a grateful heart to accept it as a gift.
The Christian notion of stewardship tells us that this understanding that all is gift should be the foundation upon which we build our lives.
Creation, love, new life in Christ, the skills and abilities that are mine to share, my wealth and resources, the wisdom and experience I’ve gained through the great times and the moments of struggle or pain, the realization that God does for me , again and again, what I cannot do for myself – for which of these am I not grateful? How do I show that gratitude in the way I love, live my life, and give back?