The Beauty of the Constant

I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. To witness the beauty, the majesty God created with just a river’s flow. Steady. Relentless. Constant.

While the unpredictable, hurried, forces like hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis, break havoc, masterpieces of nature are found in the steady.

A quiet, drenching rain soaking rich soil.
The appearance of pinpoint lights in the dark sky every night.
The magnificent display of green tones as winter slips away.
Pinks and purples and whites of wildflowers each spring.
Smooth stones with rough edges rubbed away by the tumble of ocean waves.
An early morning sunrise with its soft hues and gentle waking of the earth.

Because the sun never ceases to rise, hope never ceases to be found. Hope lies in the constant. In its beauty.

DSC_0035DSC_0655DSC_0634DSC_0609DSC_0585

Yet, the thing about constants is we often don’t understand their power until they’re gone. During my college years in a large city of lights, I never knew how much I missed the stars until I came home, where, in my rural community, they lit the night sky.

In recent days, a constant in my life has slipped away. My church family and I are grieving the loss of one of our pastors. And throughout my life, while many pastors have come and gone, he has been the steady, unmovable, constant force.

Pastor Skip has been my pastor for 30 years.

As a young girl during a Christmas cantata rehearsal, I remember sitting at his feet under the vivid lights of the evergreen as he placed white ornaments all around, explaining the significance of each one. The history of an ichthus is embedded in my mind because he told it to me.

When in college and the world challenged my faith with powerful, hurried forces, I called Pastor Skip. Because I knew logical answers that required faith would be given—answers that mattered in the real world.

In my mid-twenties, I sat across his desk, looking at his bright smile, asking if seminary was the right choice. He knew me. He knew my call. He knew my passions. But he didn’t tell me what decision to make.

He said, “When God is asking you to do something, He doesn’t leave it alone. It’s not a fleeting thought. Rather, it keeps coming back.”

Because God is constant.

I went to seminary.

His words of wisdom still whisper in my soul.

And so yesterday, as I drove from work, with the tears of my soul filling my eyes, only one word floated through my heart, and the power of that word began to resonate. One word that describes my beloved pastor.

Constant.

Our lives are impacted most powerfully by the steady. It’s not the flashy, loud, thunderous moments that mold us beautiful. And while roaring may set us in motion, it is the constant that smoothes our rough edges and blooms the fragrant flowers of our soul.

I want to be a constant. To be the person who is always there, in the background, creating space for lives to be made beautiful. To flow steady, offering the safe place for questions and doubt to softly land. To step away, allowing room for others to realize their significance.

The constant is the beauty of our world. Whether it be a river flowing through rock or the life of one who forms magnificent canyons in our souls—canyons which deepen our understanding and widen our compassion, it is the constant that changes our world and brightens our tomorrows.

Because the Son always rises, bringing with Him relentless hope.

This is the legacy Pastor Skip leaves me.

This entry was posted in Beautiful Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Beauty of the Constant

  1. Vicki says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Heather. Absolutely beautiful.

  2. Jackie says:

    You have put into words who our precious friend has been to all of us.

  3. Kris says:

    He was such a kind man and this is a wonderful tribute to the impact he had on your life. Beautiful.

  4. So, I see your name is Heather. I have read a lot of blog posts by a lot of people, but no one’s heart has touched mine like yours. Thank you. You spoke my heart. I did not have a Pastor Skip, but you expressed my own heart. God bless you.

  5. Deanna Sessoms says:

    Such beautiful words for Skip, he touched many people. He always knew the right words to say, the right responses to questions, might not have been the answers you wanted to hear but he always had the word of God in his heart and on his lips. I know the church and his family will miss him but he is rejoicing right now!

  6. Camille Wilson says:

    So well said!!!!

  7. loademupsue says:

    Such a true and thoughtful tribute to Pastor Skip. I have also known him for 30 + years and I wholeheartedly agree with your description of him. He will be missed here on Earth by so many.

  8. Billie Holmes says:

    Wow….that is a beautiful, truthful description of Pastor Skip.
    He was one of the men I have respected most in my life. Constant
    is a perfect word to sum up his character. He will be sadly missed, but
    Heaven is rejoicing.

  9. Kim Hinman says:

    Thank you, Heather. So many if us have felt the positive influence of Pastor Skip and Mrs. Linda. I am thankful that as a young high school student, he always reminded us to make wise choices. A saying and reminder that I have passed on to my children. I would see him daily at the gym. Giving a big smile and a word of encouragement “out of the blue”. Often after a bad day at work. He was a constant in so many lives. God has gleaned another angel.

  10. joy price says:

    Beautiful – I came to know Pastor Skip when I worked at Blue Lake Academy and he was a man I greatly admired.

  11. Jennings & Robin says:

    Thank you , Heather, for using your special gift t words t o express so eloquently Pastor Sip’s life . I God is working through you and your ministry of writing even in our teens. Thank you!

  12. Thank you Heather for sharing your beautiful memories of Pastor Skip. He was a constant in my life as well for over 20 years and will be greatly missed until we see him again with our Lord Jesus.

Please feel free to respond, but know Petals of Joy exists to bring joy and is not a forum for conflict or controversy.