Spiritual Practice: Behold

tree stump

No matter who won or lost during this midterm election, some of us will be disappointed. My first reaction, if things don’t go MY way, is to crawl into a cave and curl up into a ball to hide.

Maybe it’s time for a broader perspective. At Eugene Peterson’s recent funeral, his son Leif summarized his lifelong message about God: “God loves you. He is on your side. He is coming after you. He is relentless.”

God is coming after us with relentless love. God won’t give up loving and pursuing us so that God can be on our side. God is not dismayed by elections.

On a recent Sunday, my pastor had the kids come up to the front of the sanctuary for the kids’ sermon. This is one of my favorite parts of the service as there is usually a profound message made simple. She asked the little ones, “when you see something interesting, or amazing or intensely sad, what do you say to your friends?”

They answered with phrases like, “Hey, look at this!” Which is exactly what she hoped they would say. She said that in the old Bible times they had a great word for that which we don’t use anymore: “Behold!” Behold means, “to look deeply or pay close attention.” She encouraged them to spend the week looking for God in the everyday things. like seeing a beautiful flower, or a  playful puppy, or experiencing something sad. Then to say to whoever was near, “Behold!”

She had them practice and it was really cute as they shouted, “Behold!” I could just picture them in the Walmart cereal aisle, arms outstretched to the Frosted Sugar Bombs yelling, “Behold!”

What a profound idea this is. Here I am, all set for political disappointments, ready to crawl into a cave when I should be looking harder for God in my neighborhood, in those I meet, in nature, in those who voted differently than I did. God is everywhere, in everything, and elections don’t bother a God who has a longer view of history than we do.


beauty from ashes

Today, I was sitting outside and saw this old tree stump. It was starting to decay but there was something red on it and I got closer to see if maybe a fall leaf had settled on it. Nope, there was this beautiful, hopeful little red plant springing up from the decay. BEHOLD!

I was reminded of the verse that says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

God doesn’t want us to lose hope. God wants to make beauty from our ashes and new life from our desolation. We need to put on our God goggles and look hard, pay close attention, and BEHOLD!


How are you coping post-election? This is a safe place to vent your pain regardless of your political affiliation.

Photo Credit, Mine.