church without walls


Maybe it was the uncomfortable quietness of an empty house after Christmas. Perhaps it was looking back at 2009 with some disappointments and forward to 2010 with some fears. Maybe it was feeling overwhelmed with… well, “life”. Or maybe it was the changes and challenges in our family that made celebrating this Christmas season bittersweet at times. I am not sure I can actually “blame” it on one thing.  But I sure was in a funk this past weekend and needed an attitude adjustment. 


When Sunday morning arrived, the last thing I wanted was the distraction of going to church.  Please don’t misunderstand. I LOVE my church family and am a firm believer in corporate worship and living in community with fellow Christ-followers.  But sometimes “going” to church is just that… just a place to go and fulfill my “obligation”. Sometimes it has nothing to do with worship or teaching or my soul’s need to commune with God. 


So instead of warming a pew,  Mark and I, with Max in tow, went to Robinson Preserve, a favorite local walking place for me. It was cold and overcast, but we spent almost 3 hours there, walking 5 miles, photographing the beauty around us, talking with those we passed on the trail and training/playing with Max.

robinson collage

We didn’t have any deep conversations.  We didn’t  spend time praying or reading the Word. But we most definitely communed with God,  enjoying being in His beautiful “church without walls” as I like to call it.



Standing on a boardwalk the jutted out into the water, we were joined by three cyclist. One of them kindly offered to take our picture. All of a sudden out of nowhere a flock of roseate spoonbills (they look like flamingos) flew by us.


It was breathtaking. The cherry on top was that the gentleman who had my camera in his hands, whipped it around and snapped a few photos of them in flight! He apologized for taking the photos but said it was just instinct… he is an Alaskan wildlife photographer!  That’s what I call a hug from God… seeing his creation and capturing it on my camera.

And you know what…


life looks brighter after time spent in my church without walls.

Remembering that God is good all the time,



10 thoughts on “church without walls

  1. how wise of you to be proactive ..
    taking charge of your personal direction….
    knowing that although you might not
    be able to change the “season” that
    you are in .. or the “season” that may
    be coming next .. you are seeking
    HIM !! .. bless mark’s heart for
    “getting it” ..
    thank you for putting yourself out
    there through words and photo’s..
    i am blessed !!


  2. I love you for sharing your thoughts, so many times I have felt the same way, it is good to know our God is not confined to a building. Love, you guys and thinking of you during these holidays.


  3. Thanks for not only sharing in person, but through your blog as well. Beautiful photos. God wants us to stretch, and look for all sorts of ways to worship Him……I’m sure He was thrilled that you went to your (HIS) church without walls on Sunday. 🙂

    Be Blessed,


  4. Ruthi – What a difficult year it has been for you …. and yet I marvel at the way you seem to easily find the beauty & light in everything somehow. Thank you for writing & posting photos on your blog – it definitely makes me feel so much closer to you & your family. Love you!

    Your cousin,


  5. Well said Ruthi. Some of the best times of communing with God are when we are surrounded with his beautiful creation, fresh air and sunshine and even working in the yard. You didn’t hear a preacher’s sermon, but maybe it was the river clapping its hands or the forest (we don’t have hills) singing out thier songs of joy that lifted your spirit.(Psalm 98:8) Glad you had a good day to reflect, recreate and worship in a fresh new way. You deserve and need a break! Love you, Mom


  6. Thanks for the honest heart and the shared feelings. I see in you your Dad and Mom. They are and will continue to be “lights” for the Light of the World”. As I find you also to be.


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