We spent last weekend in St. Augustine, Florida and took a private tour going from one place to the next trying new foods, drinking some lovely wines and hearing behind-the-scenes stories of people who made an impact on the city.
I was with adorable friends and our hearts were light. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. And you could feel God’s love all around us.
There is nothing like listening to stories of people who made a difference in a community. And made a difference in people, most especially. There was Mr. Flagler who built a huge church in honor of his daughter who died giving birth to his grandchild. That church was the way to heal his broken heart. There was the story of Martin Luther King who came to St. Augustine to stand with others as they protested “Whites Only” restaurants. There were stone monuments honoring special people for their accomplishments. This is the oldest city in the US and the buildings have character and cobblestone streets add to the charm.
There was, however, nothing more beautiful than this picture I took with my phone. Our tour guide took us behind the scenes of St. Augustine and we were in awe of what you don’t normally see as a tourist. He said, “this is the most beautiful spot in all of St. Augustine.” And he was right.
It wasn’t beautiful because of monuments, or buildings, or cobblestone streets, or delicious restaurants, or even the good wine. It was beautiful because God showed up in nature and mirrored His image in the waters flowing around the city.
This was the most precious view of all. No one can outdo God. No one.
God spoke and this incredible world was birthed. Then man took it and tilled the land, built buildings, paved streets, traded merchandise, created new products and new ideas and even carved stone monuments to those who made the world a better place. And all that is good. God loves our hard work.
Yet what God wants from all of us is our hearts. He wants His love reflected in every man and glowing into the lives of others just as the heavens are reflected back into the waters of this picture.
The world will be at peace and love will flow IF and only IF man softens his heart. Softens it towards those who hate, those who hurt others and those who are wandering this earth without hope.
It’s the weekend. It’s a long weekend. I have some work to do on my own heart too as I recently discovered a part of it that needs some healing. I can’t build a church in honor of that pain like Mr. Flagler did, but I can work on keeping my heart soft and not let it turn to stone – like the monuments around St. Augustine. Stone is for buildings, streets and monuments – not to be housed inside of a person.
I pray you’ll join me in remembering the sacrifices of those who went to battle for our freedoms. I pray you will also take time to do some heart-felt reflection into your own life and if you have some healing needs, get outside with God and let Him speak to you.
He is everywhere!
It’s Memorial Day weekend and it’s a good time to remember how blessed we are and how much God loves us. Reflect upon all your blessings and spend time with good friends, good wine and good hearts! That’s my plan and I can’t wait to get it started. Don’t waste a minute of it.
With my heart full of gratitude for each of you, I wish you peace, my friends!