Beauty and a Blessing1
by Stacey Hall
Maine is a state of true beauty. On a recent trip with a group of friends, I saw the beauty of God’s handiwork throughout creation. The leaves were in the early stages of changing to a vibrant mix of yellows, reds, oranges, and deep greens. The sea was calm and soothing one minute followed by the next minute with angry waves striking the cliffs leaving upwards of a twenty-foot spray. All the while, there were sounds of the ocean crashing onto rocks like thunder and the wind whipping through the salty air. I experienced beautiful food ranging from lobster rolls and clam chowder, to blueberry pie to potato donuts. As we traveled up and down the coast, the beauty of God’s creation was simply breathtaking; however on the last day of our trip another facet of God’s beauty was experienced through a blessing that hit deep into my heart.
The day before traveling back to Mississippi the group arrived in Portland, Maine, and participated in a downtown “foodie” tour. (Just a little history – Portland is the largest city in Maine and historically a port city supported by a population of 67,000 citizens). The tour guide, Jamie, shared with the group that she was a native of Jay, Maine – a small city just north of Portland where most of her family lives - who she later noted not to be believers in Christ. She said that she had lived in Portland for a few years now working as a nanny to both a two and four year old, as a tour guide, and as an activities coordinator to the elderly. Also Jamie mentioned to us that this past year had been a struggle with going through a divorce, having major car troubles among some struggles. At the second stop on the tour, we asked Jamie if she would like to join us in prayer over our meal. This simple question led Jamie to what she described as overwhelming excitement to be among Christians as most or all of her tours where not so apt to public prayer. She shared her excitement to see Christ and His love through her interaction with us. She stated that she was truly blessed. In this moment, God foreknew that Jamie needed this encouragement placing our group in her path to accomplish just that! Just as she was a blessing to us as our guide through downtown Portland, we were able to be a blessing to her through a small moment of prayer.
The tour ended in hugs as we knew that Jamie was a sister in Christ. Something as seemingly simple as prayer over a meal reminded me of God’s blessing throughout even moments or practices that are so familiar. The experience of beauty and a blessing from God in Maine reminds me to stop and take in all of His handiwork – whether nature and nourishment or even a stranger who so quickly became a family member in Christ. These all point to the new Heavens and Earth that we all so greatly look to – glory be to God!