Editor’s Note: July 16th begins a newer holiday called Capturing the Sunset Week. To honor the beauty of God’s creation, we’ve asked noted landscape photographer David Sutton of www.davidsuttonpictures.com to share with us one of his stunning sunset images. We’ve also asked his favorite traveling partner and wife, Sarah Sutton, to share her impressions from hours upon hours of looking upward and chasing sunsets together. Enjoy!
There are two places I have been on earth where I felt like I could reach up and pluck the stars out of the night sky. One is the top of the Haleakala (house of the sun) Volcano in Maui at 4:00 a.m., and the other is in Glacier National Park, Montana, at 2:30 a.m. As the wife of a landscape photographer, hours like these have become a regular part of my life as we chase the sunrises and sunsets in search of the perfect light.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” (Genesis 1:3-5a)
COMING TO LIFE
It was like watching creation come to life that morning on the volcano as the sunlight slowly revealed each facet of the earth—first a blue line that turned yellow, then orange. Then what I thought was landscape eventually emerged as the cloud bank we were standing above. Finally, the earth appeared with a piercing beam of sunlight and starburst, followed by the rise of the yellow ball of fire. Is this what it was like when God said, let there be…
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them. (Psalm 8:3,4)
Max Lucado says, “With one decision, history began. Existence became measurable. Out of nothing came light. Then came sky…and earth. Then a mighty hand went to work. Just as an artist can’t not paint, he couldn’t not create. From the pallet of the Ageless Artist came inimitable splendor. Before there was a person to see it, his creation was pregnant with wonder. Mundaneness found no home in his universe.” (from In the Eye of the Storm)
When I wonder why dramatic scenery is so sparse here, the Lord amazes me with another glorious Oklahoma sunset, or as Jason Aldean’s song Fly Over States says,
On the plains of Oklahoma,
with a windshield sunset in your eyes,
like a watercolor-painted sky.
You’d think heaven’s doors have opened.
You’ll understand why God made those fly-over states.
If Oklahoma was surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, we couldn’t see the sunsets. Even former Okies on Facebook talk about missing them.
My husband, Dave, loves to stalk our sunsets. His face is continually turned upward looking at the cloud formations, the angle of the sun and how many shades of purple are available all while checking his gear and apps. There are many layers and hours of preparation that go into one of his masterpiece shots. And there is a story behind every picture!
WHEN CREATION SPEAKS
All of God’s creation exists to point us to the beauty of the Creator. When you see something and think it’s beautiful, where do you think that feeling comes from?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalms 19:1-3)
We only recognize beauty because of His beauty. We only recognize truth because of His truth. That’s how we’re made. We have no excuse for not knowing God. We see the world through His eyes. We become a creation that points others to Christ. We learn to live through His power and His word.
So, find Christ. Learn to live for Him. Point others to Him. Celebrate His creation, His new creation in you! And...toast the sunset!
Meet the Author!
Sarah gave her life to Christ as an 11-year-old in a tiny town in northern Montana. As a junior at OBU, she surrendered her life to Christian service and has served at CRBC for 33 years. She loves playing her custom-made flute in the orchestra, catering to her Savannah cats and is obsessed with growing peonies. She and Dave love to capture sunsets on whatever remote location the latest airfare sale leads them and have learned the more lost they are, the better the adventure!