Glimpses of God




…writing was one way to let something of lasting value emerge
from the pains and fears of my little, quickly passing life.
Each time life required me to take a new step into unknown spiritual territory,
I felt a deep, inner urge to tell my story to others–
Perhaps as a need for companionship but maybe, too,
out of an awareness that my deepest vocation
is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch.

~Henri Nouwen



“Last forever!” Who hasn’t prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek




For too much of my life I have focused on the future, bypassing the present in my headlong rush to what lies ahead.  There is always a goal to achieve,  a conclusion becoming commencement of the next phase, a sunset turning right around in a few hours to become sunrise.

Yet the most precious times occur when the present is so overwhelming, so riveting, so tenderly full of life that I see a brief glimpse of God.  I must grab hold with all my strength to try and secret it away and keep it forever.  Of course the present still slips away from me, elusive and evasive, torn to bits by the unrelenting movement of time.

Even if I was able to take a photo to lock it to a page or screen, it is not enough.  No matter how I choose to preserve the canvas of the present, it is passed, ebbing away never to return.

I must wonder at the present by focusing less on the foreshortening future.

So I write to harvest those times to make them last a little bit longer.  Maybe not forever; they will inevitably be lost downstream into the ether of unread words.

Even if unread, I am learning that words, which had power in the Beginning to create life,  bring tenderness and meaning back to my life.   How blessed to live the gift twice: not just in the moment itself but in writing words that preserve and treasure it all up, if only for a moment.




7 thoughts on “Glimpses of God

  1. I have found that God is in the present moment, and I attempt to remain connected to each present moment, not ruminating on the past, or anticipating the future with anxiety. I give full attention to the task of the moment, not allowing my mind to wander to what lies ahead. Each task becomes lighter…more pleasant and easy, rather than striving. I am not always successful, and sometimes forget…but I continue to practice this and feel God’s presence during those times…it is wonderful…a sort of prayer in which He is near….doing “as to God”.

    Your photos are so beautiful…keeping record of a glimpse of God, and along with your gift of words to express the momentary joy at seeing He who is Beauty. I absolutely love this post!! May God bless you….


  2. Love this post, thank you. Keeps me aware of the value of continuing to write. And your photos, as always, are superb. Best warmest wishes, PaT


  3. Thanks Em, for joining us in the present moment and all the eyes/ways to see God in the Beauty of Creation including each other.


  4. This reminds me of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo:

    And with sighs soaring, soaring síghs deliver
    Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
    Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.
    See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
    Is, hair of the head, numbered.


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