I am unsure as to WHEN my granddaughter Elizabeth took this picture, but I am very sure it is one of the most beautiful pictures I HAVE EVER SEEN. I might actually go so far as to say that it is PERFECT!!!! I absolutely LOVE the colors, the contrast balanced against the correct shading levels. It is so good, I can almost SMELL its wonderful fragrance.
This reminds me of the poet John Keats, who wrote:
A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast
That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.
Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end!
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed."
Now, I have written about 30 or more poems in my life, but never could attain to the majestic poetic masterpiece that Keats achieves. His idyllic perfection is like Elizabeth's picture; it is worthy of as much praise as I can conceive- and more!!! The Law of God is like that--- UTTER PERFECTION IN ABSOLUTE PERFECT BEAUTY!!! Yet, being the frail human beings we are, we fall short of the perfection of its intention. Take a few moments and consider the following passages of Scripture...
James, Chapter 2
10 For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
John, Chapter 7
1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn’t walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. 4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.” 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee. 10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. 11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, “Where is he?” 12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others said, “Not so, but he leads the multitude astray.” 13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. 14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How does this man know letters, having never been educated?”
16 Jesus therefore answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19 Didn’t Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?”
Acts, Chapter 7
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do. 52 Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers. 53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”
54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord. 58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Romans, Chapter 2
17 Indeed you bear the name of a Jew, and rest on the law, and glory in God, 18 and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth. 21 You therefore who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who preach that a man shouldn’t steal, do you steal? 22 You who say a man shouldn’t commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who glory in the law, through your disobedience of the law do you dishonor God? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written. 25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won’t his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision? 27 Won’t the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.
God above is perfect, we are not!!! Truthfully, we all at one time or another, do things we know we should not do. The first few Scripture passages bring this out and more. Even if we only break ONE commandment, we are guilty of all!!! The Jews tried and tried to keep the LAW- and failed. They did not understand that true obedience to God is a heart-matter; one of attitude, not just performance. That is the difference between keeping rules like small children or being an adult who looks for the intent behind the rules. Even when we do the latter, we still fall short occasionally and that is where Jesus comes in. He gives us grace (undeserved mercy) when we fail and that is the absolute perfect solution to the problem of imperfection. Absolute, perfect perfection!!!