Last Monday, I was in Washington. Our gathering reflecting on how to continue growing honouring and including First Nations (Indigenous) cultures in the life of our church was due to start on the following day.
I went for a walk. This was my first visit to the United States and I had been cooped up on planes and needed some exercise.
I had been impressed by a number of cities before such as the elegance of Paris and others.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced in Washington DC.
The number of amazingly beautiful buildings and architecture was almost breathtaking. As a gardener, I was impressed by the many beautiful trees.
There must be an army of gardeners maintaining an incredible number of flowerbeds in an array of colours. The boulevards were wide and comfortable for both drivers and walkers alike. I can go on…
You can tell that I was impressed.
Now this is the capital city of the most powerful nation on earth.
I started to reflect.
In history, there have been impressive capitals of empires that have come and gone.
As a schoolboy, I remember being impressed by a poem about a weary traveller coming across words engraved in stone praising Ozymandias king of kings… and all around were the ruins of a city amidst the moving sands.
Of course, I do not want to belittle the real beauty and wonderful things that I witnessed.
Yet, I remember the words of St Augustine that we must not make the mistake of letting the beauty of things around blind us from recognising who the creator is!
There is only one God who fulfils the deepest yearnings of our hearts.