When The World Shines
As I write this, I'm looking out of a window that is a bit dirty, and the view is nothing but a parking lot. But the time of day is just right, so the sun is shining through the bushes that surround the parking lot with a soft and warm glow.
It looks beautiful to me. I can see the intricacy of the contours of the leaves of the bush, as they are bathed in this golden, insistent light that makes this seemingly ugly corner of the universe as lovely as any English garden.
Just that little bit of warm, winter sun made that transformation happen. What was ugly and forgettable took on a bit of eternity and it made my heart swell.
I could use a bit of that sunlight right about now. I'm having one of those days where I'm finding it hard to feel joyful. It doesn't make sense. Yesterday I was fine. There was plenty of laughter and I was writing about hope. But today a shadow fell over me, and I'm struggling to type.
If you're like me and you have these feelings wash over you on occasion... it's no fun, for sure.
But there's the sun, and the leaves on those bushes and in the end I can barely take it all in. The light reminds me that there's something more and beautiful on the other side of what I'm feeling. In one moment I'm staring forlornly at a parking lot, and then in another I'm feeling like I'm seeing heaven.
The novelist Marilyn Robinson wrote this in her classic work Gilead:
Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don't have to bring a thing to it expect a little willingness to see. Only who could have the courage to see it?I'd like to think that not only would I always have the willingness to see the world shine. But I sometimes wonder if I'll have the courage to open my eyes wide enough. Or will I pick and choose my moments--thinking I can control it.
Today I'll choose to believe that there will be both willingness and courage because I do desperately need to believe it. When the shadows fall, there's no words to describe what it's like to see the world around me shine with the reflection of the Divine.
All I know is that the shadows fade for a moment, and I am filled with gratitude and love.
May this be true for you today and every day forward. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.