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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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May 20, 2009

Drenched in grace

My senses already were on overload. The earthy smell of the woods. The sound of birds (why didn't I ever take time to learn the different calls?) and of wind dancing through the leaves of the trees. Sun reaching down through the canopy of trees. Dozens of shades of green in the trees and plants all around. Bursts of purple as some flowers peered out through heavy clusters of plant leaves. Blue sky dotted with just a few puffy clouds. It was a beautiful, fabulous day.

Then the sound of water as we approached the cascading waterfalls leaping over rocks headed toward French Canyon below. But that wasn't all. Then we heard the hauntingly beautiful sounds of what we soon were told was a Native American flute played by someone who stopped on the trail by the waterfall. He told us he thought this was an appropriate response to the setting. Yes, it was. He apologized if his music was disturbing us.

On the contrary—it was just one more gift, one more bit of grace in a lovely place where we already felt drenched in grace. One man's response to God's lovely creation just added so much to our experience of the beauty of Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby, Illinois—a place that's been called one of Illinois' Seven Wonders. 

Sometimes it's just good to stop and smell the roses—to be out in God's creation and notice. Let the senses be overloaded. Let yourself be drenched in grace.

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