I get so tired of my ego. It appears in so many different unfruitful ways. Joan Chittister in her book, “The Breath of the Soul,” guides me in an important way to take me beyond myself and into a deeper faith in God.
When Meg and I were in Kansas City visiting her mother, we stopped by a Bible book store. Both of us have enjoyed the writings of Joan Chittiser, a Benedictine nun. We found a wonderful book entitled “The Breath of the Soul.” It is a little book–only 136 small pages divided into 42 chapters of three or four pages each. Yet it is not the size of the book, but its profound depth that make it worthwhile reading every day. I strongly recommend it. Here is an excerpt:
Meg and I enjoyed the Fourth of July at her family reunion at Big Cedar resort. The resort is located on an arm of Table Rock lake in southern Missouri. Many, many boats anchored in the arm to enjoy the fireworks display. Their lights made a great collage of colors. I started with the boat lights in focus, and then created different effects of light and color by both changing how the camera focused, and also by moving the camera up and down and sideways as I was taking the picture.
Promises and blessings–so surprising, so unearned, so beyond our comprehension. Yet our loving God provides them in unexpected ways. I enjoyed taking this rainbow picture through the car windshield with the rain pounding outside. The road barrier creates an interesting symbolism of the promise of God and our sometimes selfish separation from Him. The barrier is distorted but the rainbow is true. Isaiah long ago told us what to do to break down this barrier.
From the river that flowed from Eden at the beginning of Genesis to the water of life at the end of Revelation, the Lord has given his people an actual source and not merely a metaphor for how He sustains us, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The Bible is filled with references to water. Certainly, we can find no more soothing place to sit than by a river, listening to its sounds resonate from ripples to rapids, and seeing its ever changing, never changing flow.
A note on these particular pictures. I arose early in the morning before we left Yellowstone and went into the Park, along the Madison River, for sunrise. To obtain this kind of color, find high cliffs that glow in the early morning or early evening light above a river. The reflection of this light in the river creates the gold effect.
After I posted Monday’s blog about freezing the water action at the brink of a waterfall, I mulled over this thought: what if our busy lives were frozen throughout the day by stop action photography? What would we see about ourselves and the people and places we were interacting with?
The magnificence of Yellowstone is often marred by the large numbers of visitors who ply the roads, the boardwalks, and the trails. Nonetheless, early morning and late evening light lift one’s mind, heart, and soul to what soars beyond our human desire to control and define. The light draws us to a wonder of what God has created for us. And, in those moments He reminds us to “be still and know that I am God.”
In August of 1958, my father took our family to Yellowstone in our trailer. He showed me how to set it up and take care of things, and then took the bus from West Yellowstone to the Presidio for three weeks of Army reserve training. At age 15, as the oldest child, I got to be “the man of the family.” I taught my mother how to fish, and she excitedly caught three cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake. After fifty years, the memories are still strong.