They see, but don’t truly “see.”

“For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16

You’ve seen it, too, haven’t you, that our American culture is plummeting head first into total elimination of anything and everything that speaks the name of God. Yet. God is so there. Right in their faces!

Why did I not shake this little article in the Parade Magazine entitled “Awe” ( written by Paula Spencer Scott, Sunday, October 9, 2016).  It seemed to lead the reader to believe that this so called new emotion psychologists are supposedly spending millions of dollars studying is merely the “feeling of being in the presence of something vast or beyond human scale that transcends our current understanding of things.”  (page 6). What?

“For years, only the “big six” emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, surprise) got much scientific attention. “Awe was thought of as the Gucci of the emotion world – cool if you have it, but a luxury item,” says Arizona State University psychologist Michelle Shiota. “But it’s now thought to be a basic part of being human that we all need.” (page7).

druid-archThe writer names several “awe-inspiring” experiences such as the view of the sunset through the Druid Arch in the middle of the Canyonlands National Park; Niagara Falls; a newborn’s tiny finger nails. I won’t ever deny that any of these events are awe-inspiring, but  never a mention made to the possible Source of awe in the article. Thus, my concern.

The One who allows us to even experience the emotion of awe is the One in whose image we are created! “Then God said,”Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26). We are gifted with the ability to see and experience all these amazing wonders that are clearly not necessarily man-made because God wants us to enjoy them. He wants us to see that it is He who created the Druid Arches; it is He who allowed such a massive flow of water to cascade down the cliff called the Niagara Falls! He wants us, His creatures to see Him. He is the Creator to whom we should be amazed.

Last night my cousin shared a video from “Sandbrero,” The video, called “Ocean Explorer,” as of this writing, has garnered 7.3K comments! After viewing the absolutely amazing fish and water life in the depths of the ocean, I became curious as to the comments and discovered that after one man posted the verse from Romans 1:20 he received 88 comments! I read on. Many were reactionary responses to his mentioning that God was the creator of these amazing fish. Those who were not in agreement with his view were, to say the least, most unkind. The takeaway personally, was the evidence I needed to see that yes, our culture is becoming increasingly hostile to the mention of God, especially when one gives Him credit for how the world is made. The God, Creator of the Universe, made the heavens and the seas and all that is swimming in them.  But they can’t go there. Man is in control, they contend.

We are each encountering folks in our everyday lives who don’t want to give credit where it is due; because if they did, they would have to admit that somehow that means that man is not ultimately in control of their own destiny. And that would mean that they don’t have all the true power. We examine our heart for whether we truly believe that God did indeed make all the earth and everything in it, including us; and that when we are able to have a discussion with those who are not of this persuasion, to pray. Pray for the right words. Pray for their heart. We just may be the only one who has ever led them to see who their Creator God is and how very much He loves them and sent His Son, Jesus, to die for their sins and to offer them eternal life. So let’s see with His heart the opportunities before us. I leave you with these seven ideas – from the Parade magazine with personal enhancements.

  1. Drop the devices and gaze at the clouds or the stars – and sing the Doxology. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
  2. Visit a local, state, or national park and just wander around the trails and area with an attitude of wonder. “Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth” and it was so.” Genesis 1:11.
  3. Take an “Awe Walk” in your neighborhood and notice the nature for the first time – better with a friend so you both can be amazed at what one another sees and give Him the credit for making such a smart bird! “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you….That the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” Job 12:7-9.
  4. Describe to a friend about a time you once felt awe. Or, just go with a friend on a sunset walk and describe the beauty to one another! “Stand and consider the wonders of God. Do you know how God established them, and makes the lightning of His cloud to shine?” Job 37:14-15.
  5. Visit a museum or planetarium; but filter the evolutionary rhetoric.
  6. Get up early to watch the sunrise. So much fun with a friend! “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the starts, which Thou has ordained; What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?” Psalm 8:3.
  7. Play amazing music – such as Beethoven’s Fifth. Or Handel’s Messiah or any of the Hymns of the ages.

759

Light

Lightning

Starlight

Moonlight

Blinking yellow light

Illuminating a small space,

They reflect out into the darkness.

Still light

Sudden light

Flashes unexpectedly

Moving from near to far.

Drawn to the light,

I stare out into the horizon

To catch the next flash of light.

I stare at the bright moonlight

Before it’s hidden in the clouds.

I even stare at the blinking yellow light

 Until I can’t take it anymore.

I’m drawn to the light,

Even the small bright lights in the dark heavens.

I stare. I gaze. I wonder at how they all seem so close.

The light makes me feel safe, as if He watches me.

The lights fill me with joy;

With contentment, knowing that all the lights,

The blinking, the constant, the moving, the flashes,

All are reminders of His watch care over me.

And all I can do is be grateful.

Eyes to see

homeless woman eyes

There she was.
Leaning on her cane, looking directly at me.
“Help me,” she seemed to be saying desperately.
I saw her. Her sunburned face.
Auburn hair in dire need of a shampoo and conditioner.
The traffic light changed. I had to move on.
Down deep in the recesses of my heart she knitted herself to me.
I wanted to reach out to her.
To give her a meal, some shampoo, a bus ticket to a shelter.

Eyes to see,
Leah said to me.
So many folks have no idea
that there are even people standing on the street
begging for a few dollars
so they can eat,
much less seeing some of these are women!

Five dollar gift cards to the local fast food;
New underwear from the Dollar Store;
Toiletries collected from a stay at the hotel
Or from the half-off bin at Target.
A Gideon New Testament.
Some baby wipes and chapstick.
Put them in the gallon zip lock bag.
Take them to the street where Dr. Mosely preaches
On Sunday afternoons.
After the service, we offer a meal and a bag of toiletries.

Prayers. Hugs. A look into their eyes to say,
“I care. I see you. You are real.
You are loved.”
“You have done what you could,” said Jesus,
And that’s enough.

Jesus saw individuals.
Not categories.
He saw the one woman with the issue of blood.
He saw the one Centurion who sought after Him.
He touched the one blind man.
Looking directly into his eyes
And had compassion on him.

Categories are safe.
But inhumane.
Categories keep one from seeing the people
That God wants you to see and touch
And tell them of Him.
Removing the categories requires faith
And risk.
Trust.
And great reward.

See.
See into their eyes.
Feel what they are feeling.
And then they will no longer be a
homeless person with no face or history.
They’ll be someone who needs your care and
Your word from Jesus. “I love you.”
“I died for you.”

Mark 14:1-9

In the stillness, there is peace

In the stillness of the early morning

In my red recliner

A steaming cup of tea with cream

My red throw to cuddle

My Bible on my lap

And my Journal with pen sitting beside me

IMG_1020And time.

For reading. Sipping. Praying. Thinking.

The absolute best part of my day.

To hear Him.

To respond in my heart and on paper.

So very grateful.

That driving rain

Heavy traffic ’cause it’s Houston at 3:50 in the afternoon.

It’s been raining nearly heavily all day. No thunder. No lightening. Just. Rain. Lot’s of it.

We’ve been out since 9:10 a.m., my Beloved and me, on errands, appointments;

Some scheduled and close by; others clear on the other side of town, unfamiliar and a bit stressful.

And I’m on the edge now. Just plain tired. Especially in my hips and left leg. I want to be home. Now.

But there’s 24.6 miles to cover before hitting the couch and putting my legs up on the coffee table, which, being translated, is about 45 minutes.

Here we go. I pull out onto the frontage road and ease left onto the freeway and suddenly the tears want to force their way from the back of my eyes to the front. The very front.

I can’t. Not now. I have to get up on the freeway with all these other fast moving cars in the rain and so ……..I tell myself. Suck it up, Girl. Be tough. You gotta do this so get on up there and move on out! Self talk. Strong talk. Push the anxiety back. Far back. You have a job to do. One more long drive on the road before relaxing.

I focus. I hold back from tailgating and pray. Pray for me. Pray for all the others on the road who are trying to see through the driving wet windshield to the road, the white dashes between the lanes, the headlights and taillights.

Playing the wipers fast, intermittent, off, on. Fast, intermittent, off, on. Over and over again.Turning the radio to classical – no talk. Then turn it down while Beloved is talking to someone. I don’t care who.

Here we go. Heading off the freeway finally. Down the road to our neighborhood and into the driveway. Home.  At last.  Sigh. We walk in and immediately Beloved sits down on the couch. I go in the kitchen and start to finish cleaning up. It’s what we women do, especially when we know a girlfriend is on her way with supper! But I’m home. More relaxed. Can work out that stiff hip and back. Move the legs.  And thank the Lord that we all behaved on that driving rain home

driving rain two

My personal “Ireland”

the egret Deep green grass

Craggy rocks tucked in and out of the green

Deep brown muddy water snaking its way down, down at the bottom of the deep green grass

Across the creek, a slender white egret, head held high peering out . standing perfectly still.

Until she opens her wide wings, lifts gracefully off and glides just above the water. Elegant.

There is solace here and thoughts of places far away. Could this setting be transported to Ireland?

                                                                                          Though I have never been, I just know, from books and travel photos, this is my personal Ireland.

                                                                                               Always and forever my place to see quiet beauty. The opportunity to dream, to pray, to think.