Wednesday, August 7, 2019
What We Reflect
Walking along the water, I see several leaves doing the back float gently in the gulf waters. I also see the limb of the tree raising its leave-y branch being reflected back.
Which makes me wonder, what am I reflecting right now?
If life is both unexpected and unseen (as we discussed in the last post), we are constantly trying to respond to what is around us. Often for me, since I have no poker face and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I reflect back what I absorb from the world around me. If people are laughing, I join right in to the joy. If anxiety is hanging/hovering in the air, I find myself nervous like a teenager going on his first date.
Tension thicker than a stew sitting in the air, I feel my shoulders tense and my face turn sour.
Even in a mundane moment of waiting, I immediately stare at my phone or check my emails or switch to see if something else is on the radio.
We don't exist in a vacuum. We are not only what we eat, but also the air we breathe. We are not only a collection of random atoms darting around within, but also being impacted by what is around us every single day.
You cannot distance or divorce yourself from the world nor...nor does the world need to be the only voice that gets to tell you what to think or feel.
This both/and part of life is what is so difficult today. My heart breaks at the enormity of the problems that plague us and that we tend to lack focus - going off in twenty different directions at the same time. Today it is the environment, tomorrow the crisis of refugees, the day after that a tweet, then a scandal, then some other brokenness, then back to some weather. No wonder we are exhausted by the end of the week! The script today is so new and being written every moment that every turn is unexpected and unseen. Every twist sends our souls doing somersaults wondering where the world took an exit ramp into chaos...and more importantly, can we ever get back on track?
Yet, at the same time there is brokenness, there is beauty. A holy hum of beauty, not that contradicts or competes with the brokenness, but often is asking us to reflect on the deeper parts of reality. Beauty of seeing a movie with my family or a delicious meal or simply sitting here typing in the silence of this moment. Life is not a mathematical equation to solve nor a balancing scale we have to keep level. The good doesn't outweigh the bad...nor vice versa. The problem is that we tend to turn everything into a problem to solve. We want the perfect life, that probably never existed. In the meantime, we reflect all kinds of frustration, anger, and that "those people" are the problem back to the world.
To live a different way is the hardest part of life. It is the script that we haven't studied and the church hasn't always preached. It is also a script that isn't finished yet, because God is still singing the world into being. God is still hovering over the chaos of today. God is still reflecting back the beauty of a single limb hanging over the water waiting for someone to notice.
This unexpected...almost unseen moment caused be to pause and prayerfully ponder, what is that I reflect? Can it be more than a trace of God's grace for a world God so love? I pray it may be so for you and for me.
Grace and peace ~~