The wet rain drizzles over the emerging spring. It’s deceptively cold, yet I find myself calmly warmed. Perhaps it’s the quiet of the grey or the way the wind forces you bundled; either way I am serene today. Words have been hard to find this week, lost in my own thoughts. Like a lake clouded by unsettled sediment, my soul has been churning. Up to the surface have come some long-lost pieces of my story. Oh don’t worry, I am certain they will be written about as writing is how I sort life; but this week, this week it’s just too murky.
Murky water does make you look up though, causes you pause to step back and check out the big picture. And that sight, my friends, steals air. The last four days I have noticed new scenery among every day views. We stopped to eat a sub sandwich on the side of the road near a lake… the robust mountains perfectly reflected on the crystal water. Water so cold it was mirrored, yet warm enough to deny winter’s frost. I paused. I savored.
As the mountains with snow-capped peaks peered back from the surface of the water I saw them, every perfectly reflected detail. Every snow peak above reflected as shimmery silver zeniths on the lake. Every cloud puff in the sky was a perfectly echoed wisp on the water. Every edge, every curve, even every shadow was eloquently repeated in the reflection. The lake was an authentic replication of Holy Art.
Then today as I drove my car down the same old road, past the same old farm houses and industrial buildings. My breath was stolen over the swirl of a bird in flight. He swooped over a vast field of hope yet to bloom. It was as if the only one moving past this moment was me. The soundtrack of country love humming through the radio. The world around me paused in a breath of normalcy, beautiful normalcy.
The parking lot is hemmed by pine trees – the big, bulging kind. I stayed in the wrapped warmth of heated seats and recycled engine air and paused to watch. They dance. Those big bulky trees dance all winter long to the sound of howling wind. And it was graceful. Serene.
I’ve sat in wonder at the weaving of Bible stories too. Like David, a shepherd boy who wore the crown. He was world renowned for the giants and battles he fought and revered as one of the greatest Kings of all time. Yet his story keeps going, leading right up to the birth of Christ. David’s story weaves and winds in ways where today we can see glimpses of Christ. But could he? Did he look up from the murk to notice how it all comes together? Did David glimpse into the big picture?
I am humbled by the humanity of each story told in the Holy Cannon. And I am breathless over the faithful tapestry God reveals between the pages. I wonder if my story will be similar? Heroic moments, and gut-wrenching pain mixed with worshipful highs and sinful falls, all strung together to echo the glory of the Almighty.
As I ponder the big picture and wade through the current murk I am quiet with thought. Life moves forward, seasons change, but I don’t want to ignore what floats to the surface during the shift. It’s easy to get lost in the wind, to allow the whirl to distract you or worse, to discourage you. I could back track out of the murky, churning water and only consider the surroundings. Instead, I’d rather wade deeper, sort it out and then reflect the Glory. I want to be an authentic replica of Holy Art.
I have seen that kind of reflection in my daughter’s eyes. I’ve seen it when she stands under her father’s gaze.
I hadn’t told her where we were going, “It’s a surprise… but we need to buy something special!” I leave her hanging in cruel anticipation. I know it’s mean to tell a girl you’re going shopping for something special and not divulge more. She groaned and then savored the growing butterflies in her tummy.
We park the car, unload the stroller and buckle in squirmy little brother. I’m certain she has figured it out… but she doesn’t let on. As we step up the curb in front of her favorite kids’ clothing store, I lean down grab her hand and look into those beautiful, breath-taking brown eyes.
“We are going dress shopping! You are going to need a new dress to wear on your date with Daddy tomorrow!” As the words settle into her sweet heart glee literally erupts in her eyes! Oh, the way that warms my heart! We shopped. We giggled.
“What about this one, Mommy? What do you think?” And when we finally settled on the perfect dress, matching shoes and tights she said,
“Mommy, I wonder what Dad will say when he sees me come down the stairs?”
My heart skips a beat, “Sweat heart, He’s going to love it!”
These moments are all the more sweet because not only does she eagerly anticipate them, she prepares for them. And so does he, seeking substitutes for board meeting votes and altering business appointments all to take her to this Valentines Dance. But I also know how this will shape her soul.
The moment she walks down the stairs and takes the hand of her father I am in awe of the reflection in her eyes. She is beaming. As he places the corsage on her wrist she is transformed. She is no longer a six-year-old with skinned knees from riding bikes, nor is she the middle sister who fights with both fists on both brothers. She is a woman-child soaking up her identity. In her eyes you can see the affirmation of beauty, hope, and life.
As they drive off to the dance I find myself in awe of what just unfolded before me. My sweet daughter saw herself through her father’s eyes. His love affirms her identity, her authentic self. It was as if all of her dreams, her talents and character flashed in the beam of his smile straight to her soul. Watching that beam mirror from her heart was Pure Holy Art.
As I wade through murky water it feels messy, sometimes frightening and I’m lost. Where is the reflection? It needs to get sorted, to settle. I need to seek it through His eyes. With anticipation I pause to take His hand, His love, His affirmation.