Beauty lives in Cottonwood Canyon State Park near Condon, Oregon. Photo by Tim Graves
Beauty lives in Cottonwood Canyon State Park near Condon, Oregon. Photo by Tim Graves

Our ancient kindred were not exempt from struggles of daily living. Reading their stories and experiences with the divine it becomes clear that, like me, they needed reminders to simply be and to trust.

I’ve become fascinated with photographing small creatures and plants. When I review my photos I often marvel at the intricacies of their physical form. And, though I do not consider myself beautiful in any sense of the word, I wonder if perhaps I should.

I wonder if I feel self-distaste because of an over-familiarity with my own form. Perhaps my psyche has been poisoned by pop-culture’s false images of human worth and beauty. Or maybe I worry over that which I have no control, failing to slow down and appreciate myself and others.

A discarded faith crossed my path on a recent hike in Washington's Columbia Hills State Park near The Dalles, Oregon. Photo by Tim Graves
A discarded feather crossed my path on a recent hike in Washington’s Columbia Hills State Park near The Dalles, Oregon. Photo by Tim Graves

Whatever the reason I fail to see my own beauty and the beauty around me, I have something in common with the ancients.  I need reminders to trust the One, to worry less about tomorrow, and to let go of the past. I need to be reminded that I carry within me the Imago Dei (the image of God) and that I am valued by the divine One.

Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? If you can’t do such a small thing, why worry about the rest? Notice how the lilies grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, how much more will God do for you, you people of weak faith! Luke 12:25-28 CEB

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