The following post was originally published on March 23, 2008.

hilton head

The azaleas are blooming in Hilton Head. I don’t usually like azaleas. They are scrawny, burnt looking bushes most of the year. Until they bloom. And for those few weeks, they can certainly be beautiful. I am surprised that beauty can come from such an ugly bush.

I always forget how much I love the Low Country of South Carolina; how beautiful the water, the allure of the tree lined path of Plantation Drive. The Spanish moss hangs lazy and low from those branches. Every year I take some home with me. And every year I am disappointed that my baggie full of moss just isn’t the same away from the island.

Somehow the beauty of this place almost makes it lonely. Maybe it’s just because I know there is change waiting for us when we get back home. It is more likely because The Man isn’t with us. I think there is something about a beautiful place that demands intimate company or it almost seems as though it doesn’t count. I imagine Adam felt that way in the Garden before Eve was made but he didn’t know why.

harbour town sunset
It is sweet to be in such a beautiful place on a day that celebrates new life and freedom. It is hard to believe that beauty can come from suffering and death. I think of Isaiah 53:11: “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.” What a prediction. What a promise. I often forget how opposite the Lord thinks from the way I think: how the last will be first, how beauty comes from ashes, how life comes from death. It doesn’t makes sense, really. But I am certainly thankful it is true.