This morning I got to sit in my favorite spot and have devotion time. The spot that took awhile to find. The spot where I feel relaxed and open and cozy (but not too cozy). There are a few reasons why it's my favorite place in our house to spend time with God.
It's the holiest room in our house.
Sound strange? Let me explain. We were encouraged in our pre-marital counseling to make our bedroom the holiest place in the house. A protected space. A technology free space (goodbye treadmill and TV). Aside from a few lamps for practicality, it is candles and clean lines and clutter-free. It is a sanctuary. With soft grays and creams and yellows, a few accents of lively green. And don't forget the blackout curtains (if you ask me, they're a must).
But those blackout curtains cover a glorious window that overlooks a wooded area behind our house.
Reason number two why this cozy spot is my favorite: a view of nature.
If I prop a few pillows up at the end of the bed, it's the perfect place to sit and gaze out the window while I read, journal, think, chat with God. In the morning the sun streams in and it almost feels like God is washing me clean, warming me with His presence, filling me with peace before sending me out into this world.
This morning there was no sun. I awoke to an overcast and rather gloomy day. But you know what? These days are some of my favorite. There is something energizing about them for me. For some reason I feel the space and capacity to be in my own thoughts. I don't feel guilty about not going outside. I can stay in and be and do and think. Oh man, am I ever an introvert!
As I sat in my spot this morning, my gaze drifted out to the woods. On days like these, it's easy to pick up any movement, any little critter that might be scurrying along or fluttering by. You don't have the rays of sun to shield your view.
I was reading Psalm 139 (one of my all-time favorite chapters of the Bible). It about how God formed me, created me, knows me. (If you haven't read it, go do it...right now.) As I let God's reminder of these words sow into my soul, I looked out to watch a squirrel on our fence.
I love watching the movements of animals. They can be so graceful, confident, unsure, powerful. In the case of the squirrel: funny and quirky. His movements were jumpy and skittish. But I watched in delight from my cozy spot. Knowing he had no idea anyone was interrupting his morning scavenging.
I was just admiring God's creation, His handiwork. His creativity. His beauty.
In a squirrel.
And then it hit me: this creature was most certainly created by God and deemed by Him "good."
But what about us? Humans? Man and woman? We were created in His image. And deemed by Him "very good." (Check out Genesis 1.)
Do I look at humans and see "very good?" Do I admire the way we were created, our unique personalities, our character traits, our genes?
The way we were ALL created in His image.
It reminds me of a time with my mom and sister. We were on a family vacation in Maine (which also happens to be my favorite spot in the US). We had a little time to kill as we waited for my dad and brother to join us for dinner - at Rosalie's, I'm sure. It is after all my favorite pizza place on the planet. (This was back in the days before cell phones were widespread and you had to just set a time and place to meet up later in the day and whether or not you were ready or had ample time to kill, you met at that pre-determined time and place...crazy, right?!)
The three of us were sitting on a park bench on the side of a street filled with shops in the quaint town of Bar Harbor. It was a busy summer evening with many passersby. We were chatting and people-watching which led to chatting about the people we were watching...in not the most positive way.
And then my mom challenged us: what if we came up with one positive thing to say about every person that walked by. What if we left the negativity and judgment out of it and focused on a beautiful feature.
It was so. much. fun.
Older retired couples, younger couples, families on vacation, dread-donning hippie college students, townspeople, workers.
Something positive about them all.
That memory has stuck with me all these years. And I was reminded of it again this morning while watching the squirrel.
We are all created in God's image, the most beautiful, holy, perfect being of all.
Do I see that?
Do I love people for how God created them?
Do I look at them and really see God's beauty?