Early this morning I headed downstairs for a fresh mug of coffee (That’s fair-trade, Ethiopian coffee, by the way), and paused to look out through the bay-window at the gray February day.
I saw the deck, still wet from the pre-dawn rains; the trees, their naked, wet, branches a surreal wintry sculpture; birds waiting impatiently for the squirrels to move away from the feeders; a cohort of neighborhood children making their way to the bus stop. Life, responding to the summons of another new day.
LOOKING: When I glanced down at the breakfast table, I couldn’t help but notice the grouping of items caught in the emerging light. My Bible, open to a passage from the Gospel of John; the Nouwen devotional that’s been guiding our morning conversation; my Nikon camera; a pen and notepad.
Every object, in a way, is another window through which I look out into the world. I see with my eyes, standing by the window, but I also look through the lens of scripture, my devotional readings, the camera, and the particular voice that is the way that I write.
Listen to the words Rebekah and I read at breakfast. The opening of Psalm 40. This rendering is from The Message.
I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
TRANSFORMATION: When we look out at the new day through the lens of scripture, God enters the picture. The way we look into the world transforms not only our own spirits, but it transforms the way we interact with the world; and – in consequence – the world we inhabit is transformed because we have made the choice to open the eyes of our hearts.
“The eye,” Jesus said, “is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
(all images taken from the breakfast table)