Not Your Everyday Sunset

Of course, I expect to encounter God at church, but in a shopping center parking lot?

After I went to the YMCA last Thursday night, I followed the same routine as always. I got into my car to head home. Flipped on the radio. Drank some water. Turned right at the light.

And then I saw the sunset. I’m telling you, there was something different about this sunset.

I tried to look away–even drove past it. After all, I needed to get home. I had supper to cook, dishes to wash.

But my car had a mind of its own that night. It turned around and circled back to the Goody’s parking lot. I got out and stood there, staring.

This is crazy. I look like an idiot.

But the sunset.

I almost forgot to breathe. I took pictures.

People stared. I decided I didn’t care.

The heavenly glow appeared to hover above my everyday world.

WOW.  What are you saying to me, God? Why couldn’t I ignore this sunset?

I’m here with you, He seemed to say. Closer than you think.

Here? In the parking lot? I glanced at a chewing gum wrapper in the street.

Especially here.

I’m in the nitty-gritty of your everyday life. Believe Me. Look for Me.

But sunsets don’t last. I can’t even see the whole thing.

Worship Me anyway. Now. Always. Forever.

So, standing beside my car in the Goody’s parking lot, worshipped Him at sunset. “Thank You. I love You,” I whispered.

What a moment. I almost missed it.

Has anyone felt compelled to stop your everyday routine (even your car!) and worship?

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens…” Is.40:26 NIV




  1. what a wonderful reminder J…to really see God in the nitty gritty

  2. Yes, there are times when the skies make me stop in my tracks. And I surely would have for a beautiful sunset like that!

    “Especially here.” Oh YES! Especially…

  3. Anna Haney says:

    On the college campus where I work, there is a duck pond with not only ducks but geese as well, One stressful, rainy day, I had to walk to the admin building and there, perched on the sign, were two ducks who appeared to be dancing for joy in the rain. Had a soundtrack been playing, I imagine they’d been dancing to “Walking on Sunshine” even though it was a torrential downpour. I remembered the verses about the sparrows and lilies of the field and realized that the ducks had, in many ways, more stress than me. Cars dodge them daily and I know there are some who would just as soon run them over. But yet, there they were, dancing for joy in the summer rain,. God loves those ducks and He loves me. He wants me to rejoice in the rain, in the cool breezes He sends. To see His love reflected in the eyes of my students,. Thanks, Julie. Love ya

    • Beautiful, Anna. Dancing in the rain. Bet those two ducks are in love, for sure! Once more, thank you, my precious friend, for writing. And for getting me. 🙂

      Praying for your request….

  4. I’m holding my little dog Charlie Bear on my lap and planting a kiss on the top of his head. It was a sunset just over a year and a half ago that made me realize my beloved dog Rex needed to go over the Rainbow Bridge and it was a glorious sunrise that morning when I took him to the vet’s and helped him get there. A couple of weeks later, it was another sunrise that brought Charlie Bear into our lives (and we haven’t been the same since).

    Sunsets…sunrises…the glory of God. The beauty of knowing that WE don’t know, but He does, is what brings me peace. Thanks for sharing the beautiful picture.

    • Sweet tears reading your comments, B.J. There’s something about the faithfulness of sunrises, sunsets, isn’t there? It’s like God says, “I’m here. I’m with you. I’ll help you do whatever you have to do today…Even with Rex.”

      Love you.

  5. I know why God brought you into my life, Julie. To remind me to stop tyranny of the urgent and look for Him, think on Him, and worship Him. A beautiful reminder that brought tears to my eyes and thanksgiving to my lips. I love you, my dear friend.

    • Ohhhhh, Ane. How well I know the “tyranny of the urgent.” You’re speaking my language!! Your comment blessed me so much. Thanks…I’m seeing those tears in your beautiful eyes, and smiling. Love you too.

  6. Brenda Greene says:

    Love!, love!, love!, this Julie and yes, I have witnessed something similar.

    Several years ago I came out of a fabric store in the very busiest part of town (at work day’s end) and there above the stores in the western sky was a breathtakingly (is that even a word?!!) beautiful sunset much like the one you captured! Lots of pinks, purples, grays, blues, oranges….I was absolutely spellbound and stared for the longest. The joy it produced in my heart I can even remember to this day. I had the sudden urge to clap, so I did and lo and behold many around me were doing the same thing! It was an awesome moment shared with complete strangers!

    As I got in my car to drive away, I remembered the scripture about God sending the rain on the just and unjust. (Matthew 5:45b: “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” NKJV). Just as your sunset, it was there for all to enjoy at absolutely no cost! I was humbled that it was so easy for me to do just that.

    Wow, Sweet Lady….what an inspiration this post was in my life today as it reminded me of a beautiful time I had almost forgotten! May God continue to inspire you as you so willingly share your heart with us!

    Gracious thanks and gentle peace! Brenda

    • Brenda, are you a writer? I think so…your comment is gorgeous. Love your vivid memory and how you shared it. Even your “gracious thanks and gentle peace” is so precious. You have a kind, tender heart.

      Thank you, thank you for connecting, for sharing your memory, and for your encouragment. That’s what it’s all about it, isn’t it?

      • Brenda Greene says:

        Sweet words, Julie…thanks. Not a writer by any stretch! Read a lot and DO love the written words. Encouragement? For sure!

        Gentle peace became my “buzzword” when working full-time in an office where some moments were extremely stressful. I found if I said those words my mind would immediately go to a gentler and kinder place. It helped when counseling angry parents whose children were not admitted to their first-choice of higher education. “Gracious thanks” soon followed when contacting higher educators that served on various committees during that time. I was humbled when at my 30 year retirement celebration I was presented with a delightful glider/swing for our front porch with those words: Gracious Thanks and Gentle Peace!. I sit in it most every day!

        God is good….and thanks for reading my “ramblings” and thinking they might be worthy! You are a Dear! Brenda

        • Gentle Peace. Gentle Peace. How I love those words, my writing friend, Brenda! They tie in with Surrender. 🙂

          You are such a dear, and I can tell–you have a gentle peaceful heart. Much love, and again thank you for encouraging me. xoxoxoxo

  7. Anne says:

    Just WOW!

  8. marie says:

    Beautiful sunset, Julie! So glad you took a picture and shared it. Remember the game as children, where you made pictures out of the clouds? Just to the left of center, to me anyway, it looks like angel wings. 🙂

    • Marie, angel wings??? Did you spot something of God I missed?

      I just checked! I see them. Our angel wings. 🙂 Thank you. See! Without each other, we’d miss so many blessings. XOXOXOXOXO!!

  9. Arie Strobel says:

    I was running along a canal a few months ago and suddenly loping toward me was a large, black otter. It was as if God said “here, here’s a present for you…” It was an incredible moment and all was right. Thinking back on it I have the same feelings…I keep looking for the otter, but have yet to see him again.
    Love, Arie

    • Arie, I can’t remember ever seeing an otter…Hmmm, I sure wish I could. Where are they? Is that a dumb question? Like, are they in Georgia rivers and streams?

      Lots of people are inspired by sunsets/sunrises. I think I want to experience Otter Joy next. 🙂

      Thank you, my sweet friend.

  10. Gorgeous sunset and the post is beautiful. Thank you so much for blessing us, Julie!!

    Happy goose bumps at God’s glory!

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