June, my favourite month where I love to be in the garden finding beauty in the scent of the roses and hearing the swifts screech through the skies. Beautiful things that I can see, taste, hear and smell are how I tend to most clearly see God's beauty reflected. But for 8 June days just past, I lay in a hospital bed where my senses recoiled at all that surrounded me. Yet God showed me that his fingerprints of beauty are all around, even when all seems ugly. Friends and family chatting by my bedside. 3 year old squeezes and kisses. Reassurance that my men were looked after with meals and help. Encouraging messages and cards. Prayers. The tireless care of nurses and medical staff. Seeing patients leave their beds to comfort others in distress. Eating raspberries bought by a friend on my bed with my son, with us each giving a "mmm" after every mouthful. A husband who laid himself down to take care of us. Beauty was everywhere, and I learnt that I too often limit my definition of beauty, pushing away the reality of our broken world. Jesus' death for us was ugly in every way on the surface, yet he didn't recoil from it and carried out the most beautiful act of love through it. We live in a hurting world, but the fingerprints of Jesus are everywhere bringing hope, redemption and beauty, if we have eyes to see.
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