All photos and writing by June Friesen. Scripture is from the Message Translation.
As I have pondered the current theme of art and how it is a part of our lives I did not think of myself as an artist and wondered what I could do that was artistic. Then it was brought to my attention that often my photos held artistic design. Something I recently learned in google photos is that one can put a word in your search engine and it will bring up any of your photos that it thinks fit the definition.
I love God’s nature and in the past two years with Covid my husband and I have usually spent one day a week out in nature. We are blessed to have many opportunities for this readily available in gardens, lakes, and also zoos.
11-13 God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
The Wonder of a Tree
Trees hold so much creativity,
They hold thousands of leaves,
Every tree a different leaf,
At times even different shades of color,
As well the bark may be smooth or rough, brown, black or white,
Branches may reach upwards to their Creator in praise,
Others bow downward as if in homage and prayer,
Some graciously sprout more trees readily,
While others drop acorns, pinecones, and various other seed pods.
Flowers He created in abundance,
The brilliance of color in some is a delight to the eyes,
It brings a gift of beauty to the gardens and forest floors
That causes one’s spirit to lift praise to His Name.
Then there is the gardening factor of creativity God has gifted to many,
As they study the varieties, the colors, the textures,
The need for shade, the need for sun, the need for certain temperatures and moisture,
And as they gently place the seeds and sprouts await with baited breath,
For God to give life and beauty to what is buried beneath the soil.
Some sprout quickly and others take their time,
And they wonder, and they ponder,
Will the seeds awaken, ever?
And then one day to their delight the last little sprouts awaken as well,
And oh so much care is then given,
To help them reach their full potential
And color their space with fullness and beauty –
Oh what joy,
And we also respond as God did so long ago,
It is good.
The rose is a special flower and is considered by many to be the flower that symbolizes love. When romance is in the air for a couple, often red roses are a gift that is given to the young woman. Roses are also a flower that one sees used for remembering someone special as well. A woman often also thinks of loyalty when she is gifted with roses from her spouse or someone special. As I consider the rose I am reminded that even in their glory and beauty there can be a bit of pain. And in my observations and also study it seems as if the more beautiful the rose the more prickery the thorns. I like to think of a rosebud unfurling as a gift from God.
THE BLOOMING OF A ROSE
I wait patiently as my rose plant awakens to the touch of springtime,
The twigs seem to somehow be coming to life –
And then one day I see,
Oh yes, there are leaf buds – and I sure hope they hurry
As I can hardly wait for God’s beautiful colors to be before my eyes.
Oh yes and then surely there will be
A tantalizing scent to bless my body through and through.
And within days the little twigs begin to come alive with so much green,
And then, one morning much to my delight,
I see a little bud beginning to form –
Oh and now I pray,
‘God, please keep the aphids away.’
Yes, as it is in our lives with sin
That comes to try and mar the beauty of God’s work in our lives,
These little bugs can become a menace to the roses if they find their way to them.
And then the day finally arrives when I can see the colored petals
Folded tightly within the green holder,
Ready to burst forth with color –
And I wonder,
“Can I help it begin to bloom faster?
What if I remove the tightness of the green holder?
And then I remember that God has a patient way of doing things,
And in His time He will open the bud in fullness.
And then I am reminded that in His Scriptures He has reminded us,
That He will do all things the right way in His time,
But oh I wish He would hurry sometimes –
Really God, do I have to wait, so long……?
Yes, there is a lesson in the blossom of the rose,
There is a lesson in the growing process of all things,
You and I included,
The challenge for us is to ‘wait’ –
For the fullness of God’s time.
The cactus is an interesting plant as well
And hold wonder and beauty of their own,
They command a respect in the midst of their beauty,
And often one wonders, why they have to seem so unfriendly?
As I have lived in the desert for many years
I have grown to appreciate the many cactus,
Some grow anywhere and everywhere
While others thrive best in gardens designed and cared for by caretakers.
When I am out and about some of the things I have discovered are:
The cactus are wonderful protection places for birds who are nesting,
For some they just build their nests between the branches,
Others find little holes that have been created someway,
And hide away with their little ones in there.
The cactus provide a place for the bees to frolic and gather pollen,
I have observed them as they roll and roll around deep within the flower,
Then stop and do whatever it is they are created to do
To get all of that pollen from their body
Into those little sacks on their legs and soon their legs are so heavy
They can barely lift themselves into flight to hurry home with their treasure.
The cactus blooms turn into fruit
Which is used for many things,
Some make wonderful jams and jellies,
Of course it has to be carefully picked and prepared
Lest you encounter those protective stickers in the process.
There is also cactus candy and also the paddles of some cactus
Are used for great stews and soups by many people groups.
Yes, these plants are such a delight even though they command our respect.
So as I have shared with you some of the photos of the area where I live I trust that you can see the great artistic hand of God in creation, particularly in the desert regions of the world. I pray that we will learn to embrace how artistic God was in creating beauty around us and well as within us. And my challenge is for each one of us, myself included:
“Let’s embrace the wonder of ‘all’ of God’s creation even though sometimes we may wonder to ourselves: “I wonder why God created this?”