God's Art

There’s a stretch of beach near me that I’ve only recently discovered. As sunlight slowly slips around the corner, herons watch, waiting for breakfast. Ducks paddle and preen. Leaves and rocks and bits of broken shell shine in the morning sun as though awakening to a kiss, awakening once more into the miracle of finding themselves loved just as they are.

I pause there to savour the beauty. But it’s when I round the next corner that I stop. The sun hasn’t yet reached this spot, but there’s a piece of God’s art lying large as though calling me to come and look, and to look until I see not only the art but the heart of its Maker. Lying on its side in the sand, its bulk stands taller than me. Judging by its girth, this tree-giant had for hundreds of years been a living thing. Judging by its multi-layered beauty, it had then been long tossed and tumbled, sharply carved and gently caressed, honed and hollowed and hallowed and polished by the hand of God wielding waves. One night, perhaps during a fierce storm, or one morning at high tide, this giant had finally come to rest. Now it lies in a living gallery, freely offering its beauty to all who care to pause and look. It comforts me, this reminder of the grand Artist who holds me, holds you, holds this whole world and all the forces of life and death within it, and can turn it all into art.


Struck down, it passes through the waters,

makes its bed in the depths.




in the cords of its watery grave

it is hallowed

by the hovering Holy,

hollowed by the Hand

that holds

in the deep dark


from the struck-down-but-not-destroyed

a masterpiece.


Each wave winds

crevice curls

wind wrinkles into kairos

a beneath-the-surface

moment of creation,

of transformation,

of slowly-increasing glory.

For further reflection: Genesis 1:1-2; Isaiah 43:1-3; Psalm 18:4-6, 16-19; 139:7-8, 11-16; 2 Cor 3:17-18, 4:7-9; Eph 2:9-10

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Leslie McCurdy

    Well said, Carolyn. Thanks for exploring the world, and the heart, and the ways of God. And for taking the effort to tell us!

  2. Karen

    Carolyn, how deeply good these words, how wonderfully true and how pleasing to the eyes these beautiful photos of the masterpieces, so many of them by the Creator of art! I truly enjoyed this and that last one I read. Thanks, Karen. Looking forward to sitting for a visit in October. 🙂

  3. Karen M.

    Beautiful! This post really resonated with me. I love your recently discovered place at the beach. So lovely, with the water and morning sun and all the LIFE there! Even just looking at the pictures is refreshing at a soul level for me. And yes, that driftwood is pure art…God’s art!
    I’m so thankful for your words and photos and that you could see it all the way you saw it and chose to share that perspective with us. Love your poem about the driftwood too. Inspiring, imagining our lives as struck and tossed around in the storms and waves, but not destroyed, being formed and not realizing that we’re being shaped into a work of art to display His glory, His splendor. It ‘ll be worth it all someday, eh?

  4. Denise Dunn


  5. momfan

    God’s art for sure! And thanks for sharing your art framed on His! Love the photo art and the word art – the alliteration of the breath sounds in ” hallowed by the hovering Holy, hollowed by the Hand that holds..” seem equally perfect for the metaphors of wind and water shaping beauty out of wreckage, and for the workings of God’s Spirit/ breath who is always hovering over us to create new life and beauty out of chaos just as his Spirit hovered over the waters creating everything in the beginning. (Genesis 1:2) Love always, your Mom and fan.

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