Unexpected delight – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Oleg Gaspodarec used with permission/Unsplash

There are moments in life when the unexpected happens and we are taken by surprise.  Such moments as a fender bender, spilled coffee, or when the bottom gives way on our grocery bag half way to the car! These moments cause us dismay, aggravation and stress.

Thankfully, these are not the only kind of unexpected moments.  All around us is the presence of a Great Creator who takes delight in surprising us with beauty and awe.

Such was the case early one morning last week when an unusual light caught my eye. It was the light of a full moon shining through a row of icicles hanging across our upstairs window.  Have you even seen moonlight through icicles?  It is a sight to be held; their gilded edges glimmering with an otherworldly glow. I stepped closer trying to capture this magical light in my palm, full of gratitude that I came along when I did. This was a gift given to awaken a part of my soul that was slowly closing off due to days of boredom as I obediently stayed “safe at home.”

Later that same day I again was captured by God’s unexpected beauty.  This time it was along the shores of Georgian Bay as I stood captivated by a strange music of ice, waves and rocks.  We stood along the water’s edge, each trying to find the words to describe the mesmerizing sound of small ice pieces riding the cold waves back and forth from the jagged water’s edge.  A stranger, drawn in by the melody, joined us and she too cocked her head to listen and before walking on quietly said, “It sounds like a thousand pieces of broken glass. “

It reminded me of a wind chime that hung in my bedroom window as a child; clear plastic rectangles that held pressed dried flowers and filled my room with a cascade of melody with each breathe of the wind.  I haven’t thought of that wind chime in years; funny how a sound or a scent can carry us back to places long forgotten.

These unexpected moments of God’s beauty fill us with all we need to carry on during these pandemic days; reminders that we are not alone and there is much more to our living then just the daily routine.

Rev. J.R. Miller wrote, “We are meant as Christians to live amid all circumstances in quiet calmness and unbroken peace, in sweet restfulness of soul, wholly independent of the strife’s and storms about us…” and we do this by keeping our hearts open to receive God’s unexpected gifts and to delight in God’s abiding presence.

May you be surprised by beauty today,

Rev. Heather McCarrel,
Port Elgin United Church