I went for a walk with my son, Chris, last week. It is always good to share outdoor time with my family and I was looking forward to spending this afternoon with him.
We headed into a Hawke's Bay forest: mature pine trees damp from recent rains, lush, quiet. The trees will be harvested soon - Chris manages the forest during harvesting so he was in to do some final checks and investigate whether the recent storm had caused any damage. It had - quite a few trees down, several across the access track. Some salvage work would need to be done before the main harvest could take place. Seeing it for himself was important: it meant he could lay plans accordingly.
The land had previously been used for farming but no farm work had been done here for a long time. My highlight of the afternoon was to come across the derelict farm buildings nestled in amongst some magnificent pine and gum trees. I suspect those trees had been planted a century ago, judging by their immense size. They seemed older than the buildings and certainly commanded the surrounding forest with their majestic spread.
My camera is always nearby, and so is my "painting eye". It was primed already: I was hyped, fully aware there was something here that would make a very fine picture. I left Chris to inspect the nearby area whilst I snapped and paced and took in the wonderful dynamics of this place. A couple of trees had thoughtlessly grown in the wrong place, but my paint brush is sharp - I would fell those from any painting no problem at all. I took several photographs, already certain that finding this place was no accident.
To those who share their lives and passions with God, such God-incidences can be quite common. To those who do not, it is so hard to convince that it is anything other than luck. It is also very difficult to explain the certainty with which I view some scenes. I've seen lots of old buildings, and lots of trees, and lots of old buildings amongst old trees. Who hasn't? But I have seen very few that grabbed my attention like these ones did. This was my Lord at work again, saying "Russell, you know that Gift I gave you - well, how about painting this one?" Amazing? Too right it is! Yet this is what the King of the Universe does: He loves His Creation, He knows me and thee, and He has time for each of us.
Time for YOU.
Have a look at the photos? Can you also see material for a painting? (You can click on the photos for a full screen view.)
For His Glory, eh?
p.s. Watch out for YOUR next God-appointment! Talk to Him about what stirs your heart, trust Him as you pray, be patient... and watch!