John Muir

Yosemite-reflection-759Today is the birthday of one of my biggest heroes.  On this date in 1838 John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland.  His family would eventually emigrate to the United States and John would become world known for his writings on nature.  Today some refer to him as “the father of the environmental movement.” 

I was introduced to Muir’s writings about twenty years ago.  It would be hard to overestimate the importance of his influence on me.   He, more than anyone else, helped me see the potential for finding or experiencing God in nature.  He believed “every purely natural object is a conductor of divinity” and once wrote, “My profession is to be always on the alert to find God in nature, to know God’s lurking places, to attend all the oratorios, the operas…in nature.”  I have sought to follow in his steps but fear I fail to see even half of what John did in God’s Creation.

Muir helped me to see that Creation is not something that only happened in the past.  For him, God’s Creation is ongoing: “The morning stars still sing together, and the world, though made, is still being made and becoming more beautiful every day.”  He also reminded me that God continues to care for His Creation: “How apparent  are the love and tenderness of God in the keeping of those dear, delicate plant children of His in places we are wrongly taught to call wild, desolate, deserted!  God’s love covers His world like a garment of light.”

John Muir house 145It was also John Muir who made it clear to me that God’s love is made manifest in His Creation.  He once wrote, “All the fields of God, whether reposing in the garments of winter or of summer, sing of gentleness and love.”  Elsewhere he added, “No wilderness in the world is so desolate as to be without divine ministers.  God’s love covers all the earth as the sky covers it, and also fills it in every pore.  And this love has voices heard by all who have ears to hear.”

Muir’s childhood was steeped in the study of the Scriptures.  Biblical allusions can be found throughout his writings.  It is obvious that he saw the world through the lens of his faith.  I have found him to be a wonderful and trustworthy guide when it comes to “seeing Creation.”  I enthusiastically commend his writings to you.

Happy birthday, John!


(The top image was taken at Muir’s beloved Yosemite National Park.  The bottom image is Muir’s home in Martinez, California. The Muir quotes included in today’s blog were taken from John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir.  For more information on John Muir visit )