Fence Posts and Faith: Finding Beauty in the Seemingly Insignificant

I have loved being outside ever since I was little. We didn’t grow up with air conditioning, so my brother and I spent most of our days outside entertaining ourselves with the simple pleasures that encircled growing up on a farm. If it was hot outside, more than likely it was hotter inside! Maybe that is where I acquired my love for nature and the outdoors. Or maybe it was from my mom. You see, she would never let us bring toys for “show and tell.” She thought that was too boring, so we would go looking outside for something interesting and unique to share on our special day…something with a science lesson behind it because my mom was a teacher, and once a teacher always a teacher. We brought in a whole range of things: snake skins, petrified wood, chrysalises, a hornets’ nest (minus the hornets), praying mantis, milkweed pods, a pet squirrel, and the list goes on. (I wonder if our teachers were ever worried about our “show and tell” day). Or maybe I inherited my love of the outdoors from my dad. I loved to rake hay in the summer (most days). I enjoyed driving the tractors for various things and bottle feeding the calves. Those are all memories from my childhood…seemingly insignificant to anyone else, but treasures in the eye of the beholder.

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I still enjoy being outside. I love the beauty that God surrounds me with even in the seemingly insignificant, so as I was out on my walk a couple of weeks ago, I took notice of a few fence rows that still used hedge posts as their anchors. There are a few of these left, but most have been replaced with metal T-posts and electric wires. It’s amazing what I notice when I walk. Even when I run, I don’t notice all of the details like I do when I walk, and that is because I go at a slower pace. I took a good look at those fence posts, seemingly insignificant as they were, and began to see the beauty in that aged wood. Some hedge posts had whitish gray lichen growing up the sides and some orangish yellow, some had morning glory vines tangled around them, many posts had patterned grooves of weathering worn into the wood, and some of those gnarled knots provided a home for birds as they supported the rusted fencing from years ago.  To me, those sights were things of beauty.

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I started to think about the “seemingly insignificant” that I pass by every day and fail to pay attention to. Jesus didn’t pass by the “seemingly insignificant.” He operated at a much slower pace than the world around Him and took the time to take note of those surrounding Him, the needs that they had, and the ways in which He could help them and use them as instruments for His glory. He ate with the tax collectors, sought out poor widows, dared to speak to the prostitutes, touched the untouchables, conversed with those who were shunned by the “popular crowd”, and gathered the little children into His arms.

If you think about it, we are pretty insignificant when it comes to our sinful lives. We don’t have much to offer of our own sinful flesh, but Jesus sees us differently because He has redeemed us a lost and condemned creature.  He purchased and won us from death and from the power of the devil. We are significant in His eyes. It is because of Him that we have worth and beauty. We are His beloved children that He gave His life for. Our faith lies in our Creator. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” Matthew 10:29.  “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:4.

So here are the points that I would like for you to take from my ramblings above: rejoice boldly over the small things, be wary when you start taking blessings for granted, use each day as an opportunity to find joy in the blessings that the Lord has given you (and there are many), be alert to the needs of those around you, stand strong in the faith, and praise Jesus for the price He paid on the cross and His victory over death because it is through that very sacrifice, and only through that sacrifice, that we have significance in our Father’s eyes and will therefore be able to enjoy life with Him in eternity one day. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b

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