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Sunday, September 11, 2011

A vision of God's goodness to cheer you up....

A few years ago I took this photo right under Sitting Bull Falls in southeast New Mexico. It is a fantastic, lush environment, "riparian" as the botonists call it; an oasis with a giant waterfall surrounded by the dry New Mexican desert. I had been there once before when my younger brother Reynolds took me there.

Unfortunately, that day I lost my balance and fell into the pool while taking that "perfect" photograph, and somehow busted my head and broke my wrist. Bloody and shaken, he led me out of there and rushed me to the hospital in Carlsbad. I ended up OK, but had to have reconstructive surgery on my wrist. I feel that pain every day.

But I would not have that place robbed from me just because of my clumsiness. That next autumn I returned when the colors were at there most beautiful peak. It was the most beautiful landscape I ever experienced, especially the gorgeous maples adorning the inside of McKittrick Canyon.

I went back to the place where I had been hurt so badly and standing there remembering my poor brother as he looked at me all wet and confused, and me fishing around for my camera, worried about IT. Then I looked upon these waters. there was no blood, no brother, no anxiety, just me and God. Somehow the beauty was all the more precious. My artistic cup was overflowing.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul..."

I would not have seen this, or photographed it, or shared it with you today if I had not taken that fall. I would have probably never returned and seen the maples of McKittrick Canyon. I would not have understood the unique beauty of that quiet, sacred moment, had not God allowed a little pain in my life first.

These cool, crystal waters remind us that the troubles of this moment will pass, and our Shepherd will lead us to His safe and perfect place. No enemy, no forest fire, no evil can snatch us from His hand. And that is our true home, our ultimate destiny. The rest is just preparation for Eternity.

I had thought for a long time that someday I would paint this, but there is nothing my paintbrush has to add or take away from this. So here, from my camera to your eyes, a photo of a place where I was baptized, broken, bled and resurrected, and even enjoyed a second coming! Praise be His Name!

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