Dec 16 2009

More Beauty Than I Can Bear

Zion NP Watchman 248A number of years ago my friend, Stan Burman, introduced me to the story of Everett Reuss.  Reuss was a writer, artist, naturalist and poet who traveled the southwest, usually alone.  He kept a journal of his travels and at one point wrote “I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear.”  The last couple of days I have had a chance to look at my images taken last week in the same area Reuss once traveled, southern Utah.  In doing so I feel like saying with him, “I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear.”

There are instances in the Scriptures where we are told that no one can look upon God’s face and live.  In that face, no doubt, is a beauty that none can bear here on earth.  Moses, you may recall, was permitted to see the back side of God and even that fleeting look transformed Moses’ face to the point that the glow there could not be hidden from the Hebrews. 

Because I firmly hold that there is a connection between the Creator and His Creation, I think God in His mercy allows us to catch a glimpse of His glory and beauty through nature.  Certainly God and nature are not to be viewed as one and the same—that is the error of pantheism—but like Moses we are granted the chance to view a portion of God in what He has made.  For those with eyes to see the beauty of the Lord is to be found in the handiwork of His Creation.  That beauty is so great that it is almost too much to bear at times.

In just a few days we will celebrate the birth of our Creator and Redeemer.  Perhaps one way we could honor this noble occasion is simply to take the time to notice the beauty that surrounds us and to do what we can to preserve it.  In doing so we may find ourselves saying with John the Baptist, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” (John 1:16)  We may also find ourselves saying with Everett Reuss, “I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear.”Zion NP 106


(Both pictures here were taken in Zion National Park last week.)