When Summer is a Heart Condition

by | May 31, 2012 | Uncategorized

The sandals I wear walking the crowds in Charleston drop in the bag I brought for the “just in case your feet start hurting and you need to change” possibility. We’ve walked King and Meeting, sat on the rooftop counting steeples while dipping blue corn into duck and melted cheese, tried on hats and sipped lattes through straws in tall chairs when our feet start to scream.

It’s a cerulean blue canopy, cumulonimbus kind of day and we’re celebrating a seventy-fifth birthday along breezy streets, holding dresses down and pushing hair out of eyes. Two hours away from a dinner reservation, so we take a ride in the car. I change my shoes.

H drives us to the neighborhood of a friend, under low branching trees bearded mossy, trunks smiling cracked and wrinkled wise.  Rows of houses shutter tall in ivy blankets on banks of water, their windows watchful over kids bouncing balls.

And this quiet beauty awakens the soul to the nearness of the kingdom of God in the heart of summer.

Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. ~Luke 21:29-31

And His kingdom brushes eyelash across my cheek at the turn of the corner. We pull up wide-awake to the banquet table of summer’s homecoming in a grassy bridge dividing quiet water. Park the car to get a closer look. We forget our feet hurt.

I linger in sun’s golden hue as she lies down. Stand statue with the blue heron and tip toe with the gulls in shallow shoals. Watch how a father instructs his children on catching the riches of summer’s bounty. And He unfolds the kingdom and all her vitality in the festival of summer along the causeway of surprise.


On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit in every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. ~Revelation 22:2

Hebrews 4 describes the kingdom as a true Sabbath, not slumber but a restorative rest after winter’s brittle misery. I intersect with a glimpse of eternity on the way to dinner. And I am ready to walk in new shoes, eat from His table with the people I love.

Is your heart ready for summer?

Linking with Imperfect Prose, God Bumps & God Incidences, Thought Provoking Thursday, WLWW.

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. eil1een

    Beautiful! Love the pictures. I’ve only been to Charleston once and loved it!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      thanks Eileen, we feel very blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

  2. Mari

    Your posts are always such a delight to read; beautifully written. I am in need of a Sabbath, to slow down and enjoy God. Thank you for bringing that to mind with your post 🙂

    from SDG small group

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Mari, nice to bump into you today. I think we are all in need of a Sabbath, especially when summer arrives in all her glory. Hope you find some time to enjoy some slow time with Him.

  3. Jen Ferguson

    My heart is ready for summer and I would love to go to Charleston and experience a few weeks of summer there (esp. to see Courtney!). As always, I love your words!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I never feel totally prepared for summer and yes, Charleston is lovely like Courtney. We just live a little over an hour away.

  4. Dea

    Yes my friend. I feel it, see life bearing fruit in the season upon us. The kingdom is near. Beautiful as always.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I see the Kingdom all around me as I look out my writing window too. It’s beautiful. Thanks Dea.

  5. pastordt

    Beautiful pictures – lovely words, too. Thanks, Shelly, for this invitation to savor summer.

  6. Lynn Morrissey

    Beautifully painted words and interesting juxtaposition with eschatalogical reference of the fig tree in Luke 21.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Lynn and I am going to respond to your email. I’ve been up to my ears in alligators but look forward to connecting with you there.

  7. Kath

    So looking forward to summer now.
    I like “in the festival of summer along the causeway of surprise.”
    Sounds like a great day to savour.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It feels like having a clean slate with chalk to write whatever we want the day to look like. Love the summer does that.

  8. consolationofmirth

    “And His kingdom brushes eyelash across my cheek at the turn of the corner.” I love those lyrics.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      thanks heather, think your prose is pretty awesome too.

  9. Mari-Anna Stålnacke (@flowingfaith)

    True Sabbath – a restorative rest. Amen. I pray this summer will be exactly that. Thank you for these beautiful words and pictures. I want to visit Charleston now! 🙂 Blessings to you and yours!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh, I hope you can visit some time, it is a beautiful city. Nice to connect with you today Mari-Anna.

  10. brian miller

    ah this is lovely…and thanks for slowing us down a second just to savor the new life of spring bursting forward into summer…its hot here and the boys will be out ina week and i cant wait because that will def be summer for me…smiles…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Loved your story today Brian, about the heat and taking a break from work. My kids are out this week, already feeling like summer around here.

  11. Alecia

    I will be looking at summer a little differently now…thank you. Love your pics as well!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Alecia, that always my goal . . .to help people think differently so your comment just made my day! And thanks for following, love having you around.

  12. Jennifer Johnson Camp

    Oh, wow. Just beautiful, Shelly. Your words invite me to see Him, rest and beauty unfolded. Thank you for this gift. Now. Someday.

  13. Ostriches

    Oh I love that Luke verse. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. It says what you say in this post, a thing that my heart has been whispering for so long but I’ve been unable to understand. Thank you for putting words to it. (This was a pleasure to read, by the way).

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know, I love that verse and the promise it holds . . . and the way He gave you revelation.

  14. simplystriving

    You had me at cumulonimbus, friend. Would love to spend the day away chatting with you about those clouds in person!
    Okay…now I’m ready to see what He has in store for me this summer! Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You just don’t even know how much I would love (and need) that right now. Some day, I’m hoping for that sweet friend.

  15. Emily Wierenga

    there is no doubt God is writing through you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Emily, this was a nice thing to wake up to this morning and thank you for highlighting it on your site today. What a gift that is to me.

  16. suzannah | the smitten word

    the healing of the nations…yes and yes and yes. you make me want to visit charleston with your lovely photos.

  17. Ramblings by Carol Nuckols

    Thank you for the lovely images, both verbal and visual.
    As hot as it gets here in Texas, it’s sometimes hard to see the beauty in summer. I always look forward to fall and winter as restorative seasons. Meanwhile, I keep trying to make peace with summer.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Making peace with summer is something I understand after living in Phoenix for many years. You said it well. So glad you stopped by.

Pin It on Pinterest