There is a sun-kissed stream I know that flows beside the greenest meadow in the world. Ripples dance on the water’s surface beneath giant oaks that line the bank. Iris and purple flags fly in light breezes. Somewhere, trout move gently upstream against the current.
It is an idyllic scene, worthy of a poet’s rhapsody—until you have to cross the stream, until the task at hand requires something more substantial than imagery and verse.
Fortunately, there are stepping-stones across this stream—giant blocks of carved granite carefully positioned a meter apart that span the waters and offer a path to the other side. That which was beautiful but impassable now becomes lovely and accessible because someone long ago put the stepping-stones in the stream. Someone understood that the beauty that attracts us must be made approachable or else we will cease to love it, to visit it, to spend time with it.
So here’s a word of praise for all who regularly put the stepping-stones in the stream. Here’s appreciation to the men and women across the world of Adventism who do the hard and often thankless work of bringing beauty near enough to touch.
To the hands that clean the sanctuary and the school; to the feet that trudge through snow and mud and sand to prepare the places where we worship, learn, and celebrate; to the lovely souls who remember to put the clutch of wildflowers just below the pulpit—I say thanks; we all say thanks. The hours spent practicing the three-minute song are always seen and known by heaven, even if hidden to the church.
To all among us who invest in bringing cleanliness, order, and beauty we owe an ongoing chorus of appreciation. The church is stronger, finer because you understand our God-given need to rise above the dirt and drudgery of everyday experience and “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”