Visiting my friend recently, we sat out in her little shaded garden, social-distancing, chatting, sipping ice water, nibbling on freshly made muffins, enjoying the beauty of the day, the fresh air and our time together.

I was enchanted by her little wild flower garden. It was what I imagined an English country garden to be like. She hadn’t “designed” it. Rather, she’d thrown seeds here and there, planning nothing, just letting the seeds take root and bring colour to her tiny back yard.

I took a few photos and sent her copies of what I’d taken. In response, she wrote: “The photos from my garden….I saw beauty I had not seen before!” And then she added “It’s amazing what a camera can do.”  

I smiled when I read that and thought “it’s not what a camera can do”, it’s what happens when we encounter the Holy in new ways.

The Holy is around us. But often, we just don’t see it.
The Holy is within us. But often, we just don’t acknowledge it.
The Holy is present. But often, we allow the negative, the fear, the worry, the anger to surface rather than waken every morning anticipating an encounter with the Holy that day.

Sometimes, the Holy appears in a flower, in a child’s smile, in seeing someone helping another, in the wonder of a sunset or sunrise.

And sometimes, the Holy appears in front of the lens of a camera as the photographer ‘sees’ and ‘frames’ and through the photo, helps others see what they’d not seen before.

In these turbulent times of political machinations, destructive storms, racial injustice, violence, medical crises, hatred, financial desperation, and more, where do we see the Holy?

May each of us look for, expect to encounter and discover the Holy in some way each day. In doing so, may we be able to focus on possibility, on hope, on at least one thing for which we are grateful, for in doing so, we are *not* giving way to powerlessness, *not* surrendering to control over our lives, by others, and *not* giving up.

The Holy is present. The Holy is real. The Holy is around us. May we be open to the experiences … big or small; profound or barely recognizable.

© June Maffin