Jesus: “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” – Mark 8:18
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in. – Psalm 24:7
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” – Luke 21:28
Sometimes – in fact most of the time – if we’re not careful we can go the entire day without looking up. I mean this both literally and metaphorically.
Yesterday, on the last leg of my evening walk, I ran across two people standing on the sidewalk outside their home. They were talking in quiet voices and pointing to the sky.
- “Good evening! What exactly are you looking for?” I asked.
- “Apparently there’s supposed to be a meteor shower,” they said.
- “Which direction? They often appear in the east.”
- “We don’t know.”
- “And what is the optimal viewing time?”
- “Not sure,” they responded. Then they wandered back into their house.
Another problem, in addition to not knowing the time or where to look, was the light pollution – they were standing by a streetlamp and looking across the Catholic Church parking lot which is usually lit up like Fenway Park on a game night.
Distractions get in the way
Fact is, we won’t see anything if the “noise” around us distracts us or overwhelms our senses; likewise if we’re simply facing the wrong way.
After breakfast, or lunch, Rebekah and I enjoy sitting on the deck with our coffee or tea, listening to the birds, watching the trees leaf out (I swear at this time of the year we can literally see other houses in the neighborhood disappear in real time as the leaves proliferate). Often we look up.
Seeing a bluebird alight on a nearby branch, or a hummingbird pause at a flower; noticing a shooting star streak by; watching a dolphin break the surface of the ocean. None of these things force themselves into our experience, we have to be looking the right direction in the right conditions.
I taught a class once where one of the participants kept a journal titled, “Miracles I have experienced.” I can say with certainty that a good first step to experiencing miracles is expectation, and having a dedicated space to write them is a kind of butterfly net to go with the intention.
I have never seen a shooting star while watching television, nor have I been surprised by a dolphin while shopping. And I know my friend would have missed a lot of those miracles in her journal had she not, first, had her heart tuned in to God.
Every week I ask my friends about “God sightings” and it amazes me what a struggle it is sometimes to come up with examples! Fact is, they are ours for the having, many times a day.
We just have to look up. Or, as Jesus was always saying to his friends, “People! Would you please put your listening ears on, and open your eyes once in a while!”
Have an amazing day of seeing miracles! – DEREK