Reflecting on Vision….

It’s a wet morning, with the distant view shrouded in mist and fog. I found myself focusing on the last of the leaves, spiraling downward in the wind and rain. So I was drawn to this photo taken by my friend David. Just like this morning, only the leaf in the foreground is in focus. The background is obscured, a blur of radiant color. How often do we hear ‘don’t miss the forest for the trees’? How can we focus on a single leaf if we are cautioned against looking at the whole tree? My grandmother used to say fog was a blanket God used to cover the world, a call to let go of the bigger picture and turn inward. On days like today, she would move more deliberately, slowing her pace and pausing to drink in the here and now. We become so accustomed to looking ahead, to worrying about the next ten items on our ‘to do’ list, that we lose sight of today. Perhaps we are reluctant to turn inward, concerned there are too many skeletons waiting for us there. It’s easier to rush around, to keep busy, to lose ourselves in a false sense of accomplishment. It’s better to leave the depths of our souls lost in the shadows. It’s all simply more than we can handle. Yet true healing involves one step at a time. If we trust a healing has been prepared for us, we also must believe that healing is custom made for us. The human way calls us to take on too much, all at once. The divine way is patient, measured, persistent. The same God that is, and was, and always will be, offers a healing that is more than we can imagine or hope for. Take time today to pause and appreciate the simple things in life, a hot cup of tea, a wet stone, the last leaves of autumn. Allow what you see to turn your vision inward. Plunge the depths of your soul, allowing the Holy Spirit to shed light into the dark corners of your heart. And remember God is taking care of the forest, so you can focus on one leaf at a time. Photo by David Buckwalter © 2011, used with permission

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Reflecting on Color….

It’s brilliant, sunny autumn morning. The leaves remaining on the trees are alive with color, simply vibrant in the early morning light. So I was drawn to this photo by my friend Carole, entitled ‘Autumn on Fire’. I love the contrast between the dangling branch, full of yellow and orange leaves, and the green fields in the background. The colors seem to jump out at you, refusing to be ignored. This morning I am enjoying the bright, over the top, colors. I am well rested, taking advantage of the extra hour of sleep after daylight savings time. Yet there are days when these same bright colors seem to exhaust me, offering more than I can take in. Rather than feeling included, part of the scene, I feel intruded upon, almost assaulted. I can feel the same way about social situations. There are times when I thrive on social interaction, and others when I would prefer to be alone, curled up in front of the fire with a good book. Where is the tipping point between inclusion and intrusion? When does reaching out becomes trespassing? Perhaps the answer varies from person to person, and day to day. Difficult circumstances can lead one person to seek the company of others, while another prefers to be alone. We must listen with all of our being, with our hearts, and souls and minds, to know what to say, or whether to say anything at all. We want to do something, to fix the problem, to get past the awkwardness. Yet often all we need is someone to sit with us, to simply be with us. Take time today to practice holy listening, to let go of your need to be in the foreground. Pray to hear with God’s ears, to see with God’s eyes, to feel with God’s heart. Simply be there for another, and let go of everything but the here and now. And remember to look beyond the colorful leaves to the beautiful green fields, waiting silently in the background. Photo by Carole Buckwalter © 2011, used with permission

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