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Behold, It Is Good

…And God saw everything that God had made, and behold, it was very good.

This phrase is repeated several times throughout the Christian creation story found in Genesis 1. If you were paying attention in Sunday School, you know what comes next. But for a moment, let’s pause here…

…And God saw everything that God had made, and behold, it was very good.

Perhaps you know this feeling. We can imagine God, personified, taking a deep breath and surveying creation. “Wow,” God says, “this is good.”

You might get a similar feeling at the top of a 14’r in the Colorado Rockies. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “the majesty of the mountains is breathtaking.”

Or, maybe you’ve watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.” Wow,” you might think, as you look at the expanse of ocean stretching out ahead of you. “This is good. This is what it’s all about.”

Awe. Our culture has stripped this word of its power. True awe stops us in our tracks, brings us to our knees. We cannot look away when we’re struck with awe. The distractions of the modern world fall away. Awe captivates us. Whether the majesty of Creation or the presence of God in our ordinary lives, we cannot experience awe if we’re not paying attention.

Our family went to the Children’s Museum here in Denver recently. It is a great experience for my 19 month old. She gets to explore and adventure and learn. There are bubbles; my girl loves bubbles. The museum also has an outdoor space, aptly called “Joy Park.” It was there that I snapped the above photo.

I am captivated by the look on her face. Perhaps there is a little bit of that “Oh My Gosh, she grew inside of me” feeling.

I look at her face and see pure joy. Innocence. Presence. Awe. She remains unburdened by the baggage of adult life that so often holds me back from enjoying and appreciating life.

Ascetic, theologian, and prominent church heretic, Pelagius wrote that “There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent…his breath has brought every creature to life. The presence of God’s spirit in a living thing is what makes them beautiful.” This is the call of the Celtic way to notice God’s presence in all things. To turn our face toward the sun and close our eyes.

This is the abundant life Jesus promised. In the midst of and despite our circumstances, the sun shines. God is present and moving and revealing God’s self to us.

I am not likely telling you anything new. If you are willing to loosen your grasp on life’s kite strings and hold your beliefs with open hands, awe is within your reach. What a beautiful way to encounter God’s creation.

Kelsey Hart works with youth, families, and liturgy at Church of the Holy Family in Aurora, CO. A native of northern Illinois, she moved to Denver with her husband, James, 6 years ago. Kelsey is a fervent supporter of Celtic Way and is most interested in the intersections of Celtic spirituality, feminism, and work with marginalized communities. She and her husband are parents to a fierce toddler, appropriately named Brigid. In her wildest dreams, she'd like to be a writer.

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