Community Message: Look for the signs of beauty

By Minister John Shuck

And your Lord inspired the bee, saying, ‘Build yourselves houses in the mountains and trees and what people construct. Then feed on all kinds of fruit and follow the ways made easy for you by your Lord.’ From their bellies come a drink of different colors in which there is healing for people. There truly is a sign in this for those who think. Qur’an 16:68-69.

My one and only granddaughter, Pippa (not quite yet two), is learning about the birds and the bees. In their home in Tennessee, her moms have on their porch a nest in a grocery bag. Quite unexpectedly, a mother bird built the nest and just this week, two little baby birds (“Buhh-dees” as Pippa called them) have hatched.

Not a story to make the news. But I share it as one who needs a sign (“ayah” in Arabic) upon which to reflect. The schemers of the world demand their attention and if we are not careful we can spiral down a dark path of fear and cynicism, ultimately despair, when we put our energy and life-force reflecting on them.

But the signs as Pippa is observing them are the bigger signs, the deeper signs in creation that existed long before the news makers of this world and will be present long after they have breathed their last.

This world is beauty. Our lives are short. Let us not miss the signs revealed in the birds and the bees and find hope, healing and joy therein.

John Shuck is the minister at Southminster Presbyterian Church of Beaverton located on the corner of Denney and Hall. Visit us online at