Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Nearness of God

I have jokingly said at times that I was raised up in the middle of a cornfield or that I am from a cornfield. What this really means is that I was born and have lived my entire life in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. My paternal grandparents were farmers. My cousins and I spent many happy childhood days running through cornfields, hiding from each other, calling out, laughing and sometimes getting a little turned around and lost within those long swaying stalks of corn. We spent every Sunday on the farm running free in the summer sunshine, climbing the ancient apple tree that seemed to be stretching her arms out and waiting for us like an old friend year after year. When it got too hot we sought shade under the wispy waving branches of the massive weeping willow tree. Three little girls without a care in the world, breathing in the fresh country air as though it were the very breath of God.
We were floating in a world that knew no time.
Every time I drive down a country road it takes me back to those days of sweet childhood. I am captured by cornstalks rustling on the breeze and ditches with their abundant growth of wildflowers.
One glimpse and a sudden scent of corn on the breeze and I am there again...
Carefree and timeless.
In a place where all that mattered was that day and that moment.
But isn't that the wonder of childhood?
Well, it's the innocence of childhood, for certain but I think as adults we should still be this way. I believe we should still have that sense of awe and wonder deep within us that causes us to stop and realize this is it. This day. This moment. This is it. There is magic in this day and this moment. Maybe then we might be a bit more carefree like that little child we once were. We might once again be able to see with our heart and soul as well as our eyes the way God intended.
So as I drive down those country roads just less than five minutes from my house, I wander back in time when my eyes behold an abundance of wildflowers as far as I can see, dancing in the breeze with butterflies keeping time, and I am suddenly aware of the very nearness of God. So much so, that I have to pull over and get out. There I am, all alone standing on the side of the road. Who knows what people passing by are thinking. Who cares really because I am caught up in the moment.
In this day, this moment.
I just need to see and feel and breathe it all in...
So I walk a little closer because I want to touch this white frilly softness.
The Queen Anne's Lace, with it's profusion of tiny white delicate blossoms, has always been my favorite.  
I get a closer look at the butterflies as they flutter and move from one flower to the next. There are several of them in different kinds. All going about their business. Enjoying the sunshine and flowers.
I peer down at them. They don't know I am here. They are like those three little girls of long ago, floating in a world that knows no time. All they need is the nearness of God and the goodness of this day; this very moment.
To them each day holds its own goodness; its own sweetness. They don't worry about tomorrow. Sometimes I just want to be like a butterfly, I think.
"But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works."
Psalm 73:28


  1. Beautiful! Memories such as those are the absolute best. Lucky girl!

    1. They really are, aren't they. They stay with us forever.

  2. Beautifully written Danette. What wonderful memories of your childhood, and so special you can re-experience those moments today. The Lord's presence does definitely seem closer when you are out enjoying His creation. Blessings, Deborah
    ps I was born in Illinois in cornfield country too! but only lived there for the first two years of my life.

    1. Thank you Deborah. Childhood memories stick with us and help to form us, don't they? There really is something about being out in God's open creation that brings Him nearer it seems.
      So you were born in Illinois?! What town/city? I was actually born in Carbondale, which is Southern Illinois but have lived my life in the Peoria area. Have you lived all of your life in Michigan, since the age of 2?
      Blessings to you as well,

  3. oh my gosh your childhood sounds so idyllic! how wonderful, and I love that you continue to appreciate the natural world and see God in that.

    1. My childhood was really pretty wonderful. Full of the love of all of my grandparents, lots of cousins, always a dog, lots of friends, and long never ending summers... I think it's what makes me appreciate the natural world all the more. My roots are there. I ran free in Gods fresh air.

  4. Such pretty photos to bring back those wonderful childhood memories. If only to be young again without a care in the world.

    1. Amen my friend... and thank you :-)
      I guess we just have to keep at least a piece of ourselves that's young at heart...


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