... in the gift of bluebells

Published on 20 Apr 2021

I was reading something on the social media this week, a conversation between atheists and believers about what faith brought them. Did it bring comfort? 

It was an interesting question: the focus was about times of strife such as family illness and bereavement, but some people also referred to the sense of wonder in God's creation. Some of the atheists were respectful, but others were not. 

I began to reflect on my own faith. I know it brings comfort but it seems some of the atheists were quite dismissive about that, particularly as they would see the wonder in creation and think we didn't 'need' God to feel that wonder. 

I have had quite a difficult time lately for various reasons, (although it could have been worse) but I find nature very consoling. A few months ago in mid-winter I stumbled across a small wood locally and wondered if, later in the year, it might have bluebells. As the weeks passed, I would return to the wood and noted the growing green leaves. I was delighted at the sight of the first bluebells. 

It was not though until the last week or so where I finally realised the true beauty of bluebells. Walking along the paths in the wood with the sea of blue on either side was just indescribable. My usual sense of delight in nature doesn't cover the feeling I found there. It was otherworldly, almost 'magical', but extremely calm and peaceful. I barely noticed time passing.

My mind went back to the conversation between the atheists and the believers, and I realised that that wonder in creation is more special, more meaningful for believers, because we don't just see beauty, but when we experience that wonder, we know it is a gift. I am loved, and God gives me the bluebells and sense of wonder when I see them, so that I can feel God's love. That is why that experience is so special, and it's also very personal to me. This consolation I experienced on seeing those bluebells will stay with me forever.