Dr. Preston Pouteaux is a bee keeper, author, and pastor in Alberta, Canada. His new book, The Bees of Rainbow Falls, is about finding faith, imagination, and delight in your neighborhood. In the chapter on “Awe,” there is a section entitled “People Are Sublime,” which is quoted below…
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For all the beauty of mountains and space, I am discovering that people are the most sublime.
Yes, strangely I’ve come to believe that boring, frustrating, and annoying humans are perhaps the pinnacle of all that is wonderful and good in the world.
This may be surprising to some; people seem to be so common. An hour stuck in traffic can almost make us feel like other humans are simply a part of the mundane fabric of the world around us, nowhere close to the breathtaking experience we think would be associated with awe.
Give yes mountains and beauty, not people. Stick with stars, birds, and bees. That’s the good stuff. Yet even from space, astronauts stare in awe at both the beauty and the fragility of the people too small to see. These mundane, boring, insignificant people may in fact ignite the highest sense of awe a person might experience.
I’ve often felt that mountains are not the pinnacle of beauty in the world, that they are not the most meaningful source of spiritual awe and satisfaction. Neither are bees, or birds, or stars. I leave the mountains with renewed life, but I return to my neighborhood and city to encounter the most stunning source of beauty in its most sublime form: people.
Eugene Peterson, a spiritual theologian who loves nature and beauty wrote that “Even a bare-bones human existence contains enough glory to stagger any one of us into bewildered awe.” Just by their very being, people proclaim something astonishing about the world we live in.
Not convinced? Read on… Read More