Photo of clouds above Mount Taylor, looking north from Interstate 40 near turnoff for Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.

Photo and prayer 2015 by Danny N. Schweers

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What the author went on to say, and comments from subscribers.

Often I choose the photo first and then ask what it is saying. What I "hear" becomes the prayer. Often what is "said" by an image is hard to hear because it is visual, not spoken. Image and word are very different things, perceived differently and processed by the brain differently. I like it that the clouds say to roll along and then be gone, which can be translated as "Live your life until it is over." Of course the hills would advise staying, putting down roots. And the sky really doesn't give an opinion, it simply says that, wherever we put down roots, it will be there to cover us, just as God does.

I was tempted to lengthen this poem by comparing clouds to the Holy Spirit, the earth to Jesus, and the sky to the Father. Often, the Holy Spirit inspires and moves on. Jesus came to earth and was incarnate. The Father watches over everyone everywhere. Comparisons like these offer a way to understand spiritual things in terms of familiar physical things. But, like all analogies, they have their limits and in that sense are false, even misleading.

The best analogy I've written about the Trinity was in 2009, a poem to go with a photo of a kite flying. (Click here to see it.) In that short poem, we are the kite, God is the steady ground, Jesus the string that connects us to God, with the Holy Spirit as the wind that lifts us. I still like that analogy, especially because God is so rarely compared to the earth, though often compared to a rock to which we can safety cling, on which we can build our lives.

I was also tempted to bring this poem down to earth by talking about an issue much in the news these days: those who have put down roots who are alarmed by the refugees pouring across the borders, landholders and cloud followers all living under the same sky.

(Lots of comments this week, too many for me to say something about each person. In any case, some are strangers to me!)

Ellyn wrote:
Love this, Danny. I am going for a walk now beneath the clouds and sky on the solid earth where I look for a place to grow….

Bill wrote:
Brilliant! Thanks!

Pat wrote:
One of the most wonderful things in nature is that it is continuous. No matter what is happening in our lives, clouds roll by, hills still stand, and water continues to flow. All of these things give me comfort on dark days.

Nancy wrote:
Brilliant! Thanks, Danny!

Dorothy wrote:
Your poem and photo this morning — absolutely wonderful!!!!! I continue to love receiving your photo prayers. As I open and delete so many emails, I come to the email from you and my heart gets happy, calm, and I take a moment to really breathe! Thank you!!!

Jak wrote:
There is something magical about the whole area near Acoma. You captured it perfectly with your words and the photo. Thanks, Danny!

Royster wrote:
Danny, I got your "Clouds, Earth, Sky" from [the rector of your church.] Your pictures are wonderful and the thoughts even better. Please add me to your email list.

David wrote:
This is lovely and powerful. Thank you for sharing my friend. May I share it with my colleagues? I pray you are well and give thanks for you!

Lynn wrote:
Beautiful poetry!

Peggy wrote:
Thanks for the inspiring insights. Clouds are wonderful medicine for getting our eyes off little screens too.

Terri wrote:
Amazing, Danny. I've seen the sky look just like this when we are in AZ. It's powerful and breathtaking. "The heavens are telling of God and his glory!”

Ellen wrote:

Pat wrote:
Another extra special poem and picture. I like most what "the author went on to say".

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