3M: Finding beauty in all things

March means that one of my favorite flowers is in full bloom in Texas.  The Texas Bluebonnet has always been one of my favorite flowers, but it has taken an even deeper place in my heart since I can only enjoy them through pictures that friends share with me.

I tried my best to grow some last spring.  I started the seeds in my bedroom with the flower box near my heater.  As the sun came out more and warmed up the enclosed balcony, I put them out there.  They sprouted, grew very tall, but most of them never blossomed into the deep blue/purple like I am used to seeing in Texas.

I live in the city of Donetsk, UA.  It is not know for much natural beauty due to the city being an industrial city.  However, I have found several spots in the city that I enjoy very much, one of them being just minutes from my apartment.

This past weekend, I traveled to Svyatogorsk (means Holy Mountain), which is about 2 hours north of Donetsk.  It is a favorite among the people living in this area.  I would say it is the first or second most mentioned place to visit in our area.

  Spring is not in full bloom yet, so there wasn’t much greenery in the area at the time, but it is still a place of beauty.  The church and monastery sit on the bank of the Severo-Donets River.  It was built in the 14-15th century.

Our team had decided to have a retreat at a Christian camp located on the edge of town.  We spent the afternoon exploring the monastery and the hills around the church.  It was a bit cool and windy up on the mountain, but I spent some time reflecting while doing all the walking and it caused me to think about the beauty that surrounded me.

Society today places a high value on outer beauty.  But, Jesus warned us about doing this in Luke 11:39.  Sometimes, I’m afraid I may miss a blessing because I am not seeing it in the right light.  Sometimes, maybe I struggle being around a person because they say things I don’t like.  Yet, Jesus says, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” (Luke 11:39)

I certainly don’t want to be like the Pharisees, but probably I am like them too often.  My desire is to see the beauty in all things.  Pray that I will see people through Jesus’ eyes and love them with Jesus’ heart.