The best writer is one that goes with us through the world of ideas like a friendly guide who walks beside us through the forest pointing out to us a hundred natural wonders we had not noticed before. So we learn from him to see for ourselves and soon we have no need for our guide.
On Sundays I usually head in the opposite direction to church to pick up three friends--two of them a married couple who have disabilities and the other a friend who has no car.
The energy is always buzzing. Everyone wants to share news from their week and air time is at a premium as we jog along. Sometimes I just smile at the intense joie de vivre within my plum coloured Honda Civic.
Last Sunday we were headed back towards the small town where our church is. Michelle had been away for two weeks and was brimming over with news to share.
Suddenly the young woman with a disability said, "Oh, look at that field, it's beautiful." And it was, I had to agree.
I noticed that she was looking out of the window with every bit as much interest as me, even as Michelle, undaunted, continued to tell us about her vacation.
Something was different with my friend in the back--she was noticing beauty--really paying attention in a way I'd never seen her do before. I thought that I knew why. A couple of weeks ago we were on our way home from a baby shower. I'd taken my camera with me to photograph the baby, but as we drove home along a concession road in the fading evening light, I slowed down and pulled over onto the soft shoulder to photograph a golden field at dusk. As I explained my compulsion to capture the loveliness I see, she listened with interest. I think that maybe I opened her eyes.
Michelle spotted two blue herons and pointed out their Z shaped necks as we admired their graceful flight. I never notice moving objects as easily as some. We laughed at the thought that Michelle has "quick eyes" and I have "slow eyes." We all can need each other's help to see, hear or feel what's all around us at times.
I loved the possibility that I had opened my friend's eyes to beauty--but how much more significant to open some one's eyes to the fact that God exists and that it's really possible to experience intimate connection with him.
He is there, not far from any one of us, the Bible says, but if people don't know to look for him--they may not find him. To help someone discover him--now thats worth more than all the world.
Acts 17:27 (New Living Translation)
27 “His purpose was for the nation to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.