Where Beauty = Holiness

Self-portrait - early morning on Lake Marion in Santee

If, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! – Romans 5:10 (NIV)

Well I’m back from the family reunion… but not really. Rebekah drove on up to Connecticut with Naomi and Craig and I’m up-to-my-eyeballs in writing camp here at home. This is my “make-or-break” week on the new manuscript so I’ll be – essentially – incommunicado, other than these morning blog posts to get my writing engine warmed up!

NATURAL BEAUTY – It may have been hot in South Carolina last week (and we’re talking over 100-degrees most days), but there’s no denying the beauty of the Santee State Park recreation area. We stayed in a cluster of five cabins built out on a pier on Lake Marion. During the week around 30 immediate siblings and cousins from the Alexander-Perkins branch of Rebekah’s family spent anywhere from a few hours to seven days with us. I’ll write more about family later, but today I’m simply going to highlight the setting.

Hiding in the Cyprus Trees behind the cabins

I woke up early most mornings to get some coffee going and have a few quiet moments for meditation before the others spilled out of the cabins. Early is also the best time to see the birds – Lake Marion is home to 300 species. I’m no naturalist, but I certainly enjoyed the show.

Early mornings not only provided quiet time for prayer and meditation, but also some of the best views of the water. Today I’m trying to reduce my collection of photographs to a manageable number, but I’ve noticed I have as many as ten shots taken of exactly the same view… but at different times and in different conditions. The water is constantly changing and – consequently – each image is entirely unique.

Around the first headland to the pier at the boat ramp

But the early morning serenity was certainly the most compelling. Here I walked through the woods and down the shoreline to the public boat access point. Sunsets offer more of the reds and yellows, but these morning shots tended toward blue and gray, a gentle invitation to pause and offer thanks for another day. And I couldn’t help but think about my ongoing “life-charged” theme and the relationship of light to fullness of life. The Christmas hymn declares, “Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings….” Each new morning offers healing and life, and the truth of it was beautifully illustrated, over Lake Marion, every day.

The early morning view from the picnic table outside our cabin

Back at our cabin, all I had to do was step outside with my cup of coffee and sit on the picnic table to receive this, more subtle, invitation. Rebekah eschewed her usual morning reticence and came out to join me. Most days we read the Upper Room morning meditation together, and then held hands to talk with God about the coming hours, an offering of trust and faithfulness that added a sweet spirit of holiness to the emerging day.

Simply, profoundly, beautiful...

We live in the middle of a most awesome creation! I have to admit that my pictures are doing a better job today than my words, so this is all I have to say in this morning’s post. Tomorrow I’m going to write about family worship, and the remarkable service we celebrated together, sharing communion as brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Peace, and blessings. It’s good to be back at this keyboard – DEREK


  1. Sounds wonderful Derek ! God has created such a beautiful world.So pleased people in South Carolina have preserved this area .


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