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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | I saw God today.

I saw God today through ancient eyes.  I saw Him through the work of 1,000 brushes.  I saw Him in boards honed, nails driven, and roofs raised.  I saw God in the painted churches of the Navidad Valley.

I heard God in the silence, in the distant echoes of the creaking wheels of ox carts carrying Czech and Austrian immigrants from the Port of Galveston across Texas.  I closed my eyes, and I knelt with my hand on floorboards that turned to 150-year old soil against my palm.  My fingers traced the gouges left across the land as the settlers passed.

As I held my hand against the wintered ground, there it was: the sounds of voices whispering fervently their prayers of thanks, their pleas for grace, their shouts of anguish.

The voices begged me, “Look up, look UP. Look up and see the splendor.  Look up and see our passion.  Our commitment.  Our reverence of Him.”

And so I did, into the painted rafters of these six simple country churches that spilled their secrets over my eyes.

How hard were their lives. How deep their faith.

I saw God today like I had never seen him before.

Wow. Where do you see God, friends? Humbled, Pamelot

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34 Responses to I saw God today.

  1. Kristi Corona Finley says:

    Pam….I am so inspired from the words you just shared. Thank you for posting the churches and the experience you had. I too saw God through your eyes. That is what being a follower is all about. To share the experiences of others….whether good or bad, happy or sad, funny or serious. It is life my friend and I am so glad to know you and read your words. Love you and Happy New Year to you and your family! <3

    • Pamela says:

      Can you imagine the hardships of their life, yet they took the time — which was literally all they had — to build churches and paint their faith for all to see on these ceilings? They didn’t just slap up some clapboard and sod to keep the rain off their heads. They exulted, they lifted their faces to Heaven and praised. It is amazing. You should go see them. And thank you, Kristi.

  2. Terri Sonoda says:

    Wow. Just beautiful! You continue to inspire. I recently wrote a post about using the senses to promote a better quality of life. You do this in spades, my friend. YES I am humbled, too. Lovely!

    • Pamela says:

      Opening the doors to the simplest of these churches — plain wooden exterior, whitewashed — to discover the splendor within, wow, that was an experience that words (and my crappy photography) cannot do justice to. Thanks, Terri.

  3. Eric Hutchins via Facebook says:

    What an awesome experience that was, and while of course biased, I think your blog on this is beautiful, moving, and really captures what i also felt on that day.

  4. Such profundity and beauty in this, Pamela. A touching post.

  5. Eric says:

    It was such a moving experience, and your words really do such a great job in capturing that emotion. When I finished reading and looked at the pictures (again) the thought that occurred to me is that in this case the cliche “A picture is worth a thousand words” is WRONG. These pictures do NOT capture the emotion, the feeling, the echos that fill those churches, but your words do. Really really beautiful job Pamela.
    I am so glad that this is what we also chose to do on our anniversary weekend.

    • Pamela says:

      Ah, now you’ve gone and made me teary. Thanks, love. Yes, you did a great job picking activities. Churches and burned forests :) And it was perfect.

  6. That first moment, in that first church, not knowing what to expect and being rendered openmouthed and speechless. It was incredible.

  7. What did he say? or is he not talking?

  8. LOL he said “people 150 years ago worked a lot harder than you Pamela at showing the world their hearts and faith.” And he was right. He also said to tell Eric he needs to get his bass out and play more. And that it’s OK for me to have a Cinnabon anytime I want!

  9. Eric Hutchins via Facebook says:

    And he said “Kevin WHO??? I haven’t heard of him before!

  10. Tracie says:

    Beautiful and amazing.

  11. Janet says:

    Pamela, I loved your essay and shared it on Facebook. I see God in a tiny insect, the feel of the cool grass under my feet, the grandure of our mulberry trees, the breezes that blow, the smell of rain in the Texas panhandle, the vastness of the night sky, the image of my five day old embryos before they were transferred to me, the smiles on my babies faces and the quiet sleep of my husband. I’m constantly amazed at God’s miracles all around us.

  12. Glenda Finnegan says:

    my fav
    Pamelot post!

  13. —–Beautiful. Chills. Powerful.

    Pamela, I have lost much after my sister’ s murder. So daaaaamn much…

    But I NEVER lost My God.

    Without Him, I am nothing.

    I LOVE love love this post.

    thank you.


  14. That was a nice piece and accompanying photos

  15. Thanks, Brett. I wish I was a photographer. You could have a heyday in those churches. From the outside, it’s a little wooden church practically in a cow pasture with nothing for miles around. Inside, it’s a temple. It’s the most amazing tribute/worship/proclamation. I was just blown away.

  16. Peter says:

    Where are these churches?

    • Pamela says:

      Wesley TX
      Ammansville TX
      Dubina, TX
      Shriner, TX
      Praha, TX
      High Hill, TX
      All within 45 radius of La Grange, TX, but ranging from as far north east as nearly to Brenham and as far south as Shriner

      • Peter says:

        I’ve lived in Texas 61 of my 64 years and the only town you mention that I have heard of is Shiner!
        I wonder how many other small towns there are that would be worth seeing. I have thought of setting up a schedule to visit different areas of the state (driving/sight tour) each year for several years to cover this big state.

  17. Ally says:

    What a beautiful post! Amazing some of those old churches – to think how they were built and the people that used to fill them.

  18. JennyBean says:

    I remember seeing him in a church in France. It was bright and miserably hot outside and in this beautiful old church, it was cool and angelic and there was a choir singing.

    I love churches. What a great post!

  19. Grace says:

    I’m a preacher’s kid, so I’m a huge fan of old churches and their histories. And while I believe God lives in us and not the buildings we call “God’s house,” there’s still something mystical and holy about these places. Thank you.

  20. This was the first post I ever read. Eric shared in on Twitter and I was blown away by your talent. Such a moving post with beautiful pictures.

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