I have been meditating this week on a quote I received from my spiritual director. The quote is by Gabriele D'Annunzio and states, "The riches events occur in us long before the soul receives them. And when we begin to open our eyes to the visible, we have long since committed ourselves to the invisible." Opening our eyes to the visible I believe draws us nearer to the invisible or in other words allows us to see God all around us. I have heard many complaints about the rather snowy winter we have experienced this year. And like many of you, my body aches from the snow blowing and shoveling which has become a weekly routine. However, these snowfalls are rich events that are stirring in our souls the wonder and majesty of our God if we choose to see beyond the visible. I am currently re-reading a book called "Gifted To Lead"(The Art of Leading As A woman in the Church) by Nancy Beach. In a chapter she entitles, "Finding Your Voice" Nancy talks about the art of "listening to your life." To pay attention to "all the everyday moments and experiences that serve to teach us, remind us of God's holy presence, and provide the basis for the telling of stories that connect to and identify with others." Nancy goes on to quote pastor Frederick Buechner from his book, "Now and Then." Here is part of what he says, "There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize Him, but all the more fascinatingly because of all that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly...Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." In the midst of shoveling out this past week, I had been praying that God would allow me one of those moments to draw closer to Him in the midst of this unpleasant task. To experience as Buechner states, "life itself as grace." While shoveling around our bird feeder, the black-capped chickadees were flitting back and forth grabbing seeds. I decided to stop right next to the feeder as my spirit was silently bidding the birds to draw near. As I stood motionless, they came up close and personal, taking their seed, and flying back to the lilac bush. I was captivated watching and being close enough to reach out and touch them. That afternoon experience allowed me to better understand Gabriele D'Annunzio's quote. God was preparing this rich event to occur long before my soul received it. And by opening my eyes to the visible (coming face to face with those birds) I experienced the commitment I had made to seeing the invisible God through His creation. I encourage you not to jump on the complaint bandwagon but open your eyes to see the invisible God through the visible beauty around you. See the snow as a symbolic reminder of the richest event that our souls have received in the washing away of our sins through the shed blood of Christ. Let the word of God speak to your soul, "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow. " (Isaiah 1:18); "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7); "He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes." (Psalm 147:16) italics mine.
Soli Deo Gloria! Pastor Sheree