Patterns in the Woods


I step onto the porch this morning where the strength of the August sun surprises me. Our 2600-foot elevation, aided by our woods, usually tempers the heat. The patterns created as the sunlight filters through the trees catch my attention and make me thankful. I appreciate not only the ameliorating breezes in our woods, but also the relief God gives, even in this fallen world, when the heat is on.

Currently, my doctor has me keeping a pain diary, a task I find, well, a pain. Several times a day I note time, pain level, location and description of pain, medication and amount, other treatment, and the activity at the time. Stopping to write down this information focuses too much on what I want to ignore.

However, I look outside and see beautiful patterns made by strong sun, overhead clouds, and fluttering leaves. Each element converges to create beauty. Edith Schaeffer, in her book The Tapestry, refers to our working on the underside of a tapestry, seeing the knots and mistakes. Yet from above, God’s perspective, a work of beauty emerges. Thinking about the usefulness of each element, whether searing heat or cooling relief, puts pain in some perspective for me. I live on earth, sustained by grace, but I long for heaven. My scattered thoughts find succinct expression in the words of Puritan Thomas Brooks:

“Here God gives His people some taste, that they may not faint; and He gives them but a taste, that they may long to be at home, that they may keep humble, that they may sit loose from things below, that they may not break and despise bruised reeds and that heaven may be more sweet to them at last.”

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