8 Mar


Last night I stumbled on photos of my hometown that I took during my last visit.

Achingly beautiful.

(Click on the photo to get a better idea of what I mean.)

Each photo called to me to put myself into the photo like Bert and Mary Poppins popped into his sidewalk chalk drawings. Everything within me answered the call. When I opened my eyes I was still here in front of my laptop screen. Sigh. Oh for Calvin’s transmogrifier.

At first I thought I was feeling an intense longing – longing to be there, longing for how I feel when I’m there. That was certainly part of it. More than that, though, my heart ached.

Down beyond the dailiness of life, past thoughts and consciousness, my heart was undone.

Being in nature opens my soul at another level. Even farther into my spirit, at the very essence of who God made me, lives the part of me that beauty touches. Little else makes it that far into my heart. Walls protect tenderness, and beauty ekes in through the chinks.

Glory streams in and my heart fills beyond its capacity. My soul is burstingly full, and yet still wants more.


As I continued looking at my photos another desire wafted in. Several friends came to mind– friends who would love my hometown as much as I; friends who would greatly benefit from the soul-scrubbing that happens when surrounded by natural beauty.

More than their welfare, however, I was thinking about experiencing the vistas of my hometown (glorious sunrises and sunsets, overlooks of Lake Superior, miles of sand dunes stretching toward the horizon) with my friends. Being there together.

Although I’m an introvert, and happy to enjoy a brilliant sunset by myself, there’s something about sharing beauty with others that makes it even more beautiful.


Much of worship is a mystery to me– physical touching spiritual; creator desiring attention from his created; God’s glory inhabiting our praises.

Of one thing I am certain: that God is beautiful, and we get a glimpse of that during worship.

Together, when we humbly journey to the foot of the cross, we are before his throne, and we gaze on the beauty of Jesus.

When I worship him alone, I see his beauty. When we worship him together, the Standard of beauty becomes even more beautiful because the moment is shared – magnified – with others who also ache in His presence.

His glory streams in and our hearts fill beyond capacity. Our souls are burstingly full… and still want more.



Here are a couple of ways to prepare our hearts for leading others tomorrow:

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
   and to inquire in his temple.  Psalm 27:4

O Lord, You’re Beautiful – original by Keith Green.

And covered by Jesus Culture. Some especially beautiful moments:
.   – When Kim Walker wipes her eyes at 1:55 (in response to God’s beauty?)
  – And at 4 minutes in when the leaders step away from the mics and the crowd sings out together

My prayer for all of us tomorrow: His glory will stream in and our hearts will be full beyond their capacity. Our souls will be burstingly full… and still want more.


2 Responses to “Heartache”

  1. Mark Butcher March 9, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Thanks for your worship devos. I hold them for my personal prep on Sunday mornings.

    • cathyhowie March 10, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      Thank YOU! Humbled to be used this way. Blessings!

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