I snapped this picture on our trip home from Pullman.

The beautiful Palouse  displaying endless rolling hills.

It can be surprising what image is captured when a shutter is closed

in a moving car.

This picture combines action and stability.

The foreground, a blur of grassy field almost obliterated by the speed of the vehicle passing it by.

A structure tucked in the middle, standing with exposed  gaps.

The background, undulating hills.

Solid, stable yet named by movement…rolling hills.

Where do you reside within this landscape?

Are you the field blurred by the speed of life?

Are you the building, weathered and beaten down by the elements?

May I gently remind you that God is present in this picture?

In fact, He is the frame,

the surroundings,

the lens restoring focus.

He longs to be more than your background, but your backbone.

He is solid.

He is steady.

He is active even when movement escapes our view.

If you are harried, perhaps it is time to heed the limits of speed.

If you are hard-pressed, place yourself in the shallows of His hills,

the intersecting place of rest, grace and peace.

Two scriptures declaring God’s care better than a photo:

 We heard about it, then we saw it 
      with our eyes— 
   In God’s city of Angel Armies, 
      in the city our God 
   Set on firm foundations, 
      firm forever. 

 We pondered your love-in-action, God, 
      waiting in your temple: 
   Your name, God, evokes a train 
      of Hallelujahs wherever 
   It is spoken, near and far; 
      your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action. 

  Be glad, Zion Mountain; 
      Dance, Judah’s daughters! 
      He does what he said he’d do! 

 Circle Zion, take her measure, 
      count her fortress peaks, 
   Gaze long at her sloping bulwark, 
      climb her citadel heights— 
   Then you can tell the next generation 
      detail by detail the story of God, 
   Our God forever, 
      who guides us till the end of time.

Psalm 48: 8-14 (MSG)

God is our refuge and strength, 
    an ever-present help in trouble. 
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way 
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
 though its waters roar and foam 
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
    the holy place where the Most High dwells. 
 God is within her, she will not fall; 
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us; 
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46: 1-7 (NIV)

Friends, may the One Who owns the cattle
on a thousand hills be your everyday focus.

4 thoughts on “focus

  1. JON!
    What a terrific surprise to see your name!
    Somehow I love the Palouse now that I am older.
    Younger years, I dreamed of mountains and oceans as the ultimate beauty.
    Now I look at those hills of our childhood and am overwhelmed.
    Thanks for your kind words and I hope all in your world is good in real deep and meaningful ways!


  2. Hi Helen! I love pictures of the Palouse, and your comments and passages from Psalms really capture the moment. I pray we can all see things with the perspective that you did and live life fully and meaningfully. Jon Fertakis


  3. Beautiful and uplifting Helen and two of my favorite Psalms. Love the description of your photo. God’s peace is a wonderful thing!


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