I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel God’s presence in my life, but I vividly recall a time in my life when I turned away from His presence. It was a time when I thought I deserved to be deprived of His love. I know how ridiculous that is now, but I didn’t know it then. I saw God as a smiter at worst and a disappointed Father at best. I’ve come to know Him as a loving Father who delights in me the same way I delight in my son and his sweet little girls.
I hear God’s voice and feel His presence most clearly outdoors. I love sunrises, sunsets, mountains, oceans, trees, creeks, and all of His beautiful creation. In sweet moments alone with Him, I know I am loved. I even captured what looked like His reassuring smile last year when I cried out from a dark and lonely place. He brought me out of my self pity with a beautiful sunset in the midst of some very ominous clouds and made me laugh. I have always had a very vivid imagination, but I’ve never been able to capture any of the images I see. You may not see the smiling fellow looking back at me in the picture below, but the image was, and still is, crystal clear to me.
If I find myself surrounded by dark clouds, I think of a sunset when God reminded me that light is brightest in the darkest hours. I am not a theologian by any means, but I do know God has a beautiful sense of humor. I have experienced it on many occasions. He’s the Master when it comes to teaching, and all good teachers know that humor is a very effective teaching tool. I’m thankful for an imagination that runs from silly to sacred at any given moment. God provides images that make me laugh and ones that humble and bring me to my knees in awe.
Mama had an imagination much like mine and so does little Lillyann. I used to be ashamed of the way I processed information, and mama warned me over and over that I wasn’t like everyone else. That made me keep the images to myself for a long time. Now, I’m thankful to be different, and I hope I’ll teach Lilly and Mylah to celebrate their differences. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world that celebrated the same.