What is my manna? What is it that comes from heaven each day in just the right amount to sustain my life? There are quick answers that I would spit from my mouth without thinking, learned answers, such as the answers that I know are supposed to come first. These would be, bible reading, and prayer. If I decide to chew that question, what is my manna, for a while and taste all of its truth in my actions rather than my intentions, would it be the same answer?
I’m not here to tell anyone what the answer is. I’m only admitting I want to make sure I can honestly answer it for myself. What is the thing I receive from God as a gift that sustains me for a single day? And could I feast on it for forty years without complaining?
I want to say it is my bible reading. When I do sit with my bible and read, something shimmers in me and indeed I am changed. I have to have it, and I always want more. But getting into a posture of soaking the words in requires so much discipline. It is even more challenging to seek the nurturing word when all in my life is going so good and feeling so happy. Yes, I have this discipline, and I enjoy my time listening to God directly from the open bible, but it took a long practice before it became part of my natural daily routine.
If I am really honest and watch myself from a distance, the times when I get rapturous, and feel physical sensations of great joy always happen when I am beholding the beauty of God’s creation. I learned this during the three years I lived in Arizona where God’s creation is breathtaking every minute of the day, and every week of the year. I learned to look for beauty in every moment of my day. I see it because I am looking for it. When my eyes find it, my lips are automatic to give thanks, to praise the Creator for the beauty. Offering my gratitude creates joy, and living in a state of joy has become impossible for me to live without. It’s a good addiction.
Beauty surrounds me. Seeking it is a treasure hunt. Finding it moment to moment in unexpected crevices sustains me. Beauty is my manna.
I have begun to list them, numbered in a journal, so I won’t forget. It is a small way to pray without ceasing. It is a way to keep my heart soft and supple by appreciating what God is giving to me. When I do this I don’t notice what I’m not given. Seeking the beauty is my manna. By doing it what I have found is the character of God is the most beautiful of all.
What does beauty look like in my eyes? …clouds stretched across the sky to emphasize its grandeur…freckles on a child’s nose…the shade of green in my cat’s eyes…laughter from a child…heart words from a teenager…pink light at sunset…palm fronds in the wind…an orchid emerging on my windowsill…the color of sweet potato flesh…dance performance of flames in the fireplace…steam rising form a mug of tea…the dark chocolate shades of my baby’s skin…familiar smiles on the faces of my children…birds visiting my feeder…a playful smiling orphan…the twinkle in Craig’s eye when he looks at his baby girl…a garden bursting with color…a sleeping garden packed with potential…a fresh stack of folded laundry…luster of a soap bubble against dark skin…
Faith is a way of seeing, if God has made these details beautiful for my pleasure then I can believe there will be more beauty for me to discover, if I am willing to look for it and gather it. I know if God can create all this beauty, then I know nothing is impossible for Him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “all I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.”