by Christine Sine
This week I have cheated a little. Instead of breaking down another wall, I decided to rearrange the walls in my Lenten garden. The three remaining walls now form a protective barrier across the back of the garden and in front of the barrier I have planted three crosses. Each time my eyes drifted towards my garden today, my breath caught and my gut churned as I focused on those crosses across the top of the flourishing plants. I was reminded of the pain and suffering Christ endured to make it possible for us to flourish and become whole. What a sacrifice God willingly made to see walls broken down and barriers rearranged in my life and in our world. As Lent draws towards Holy Week that is where most of our eyes are focused. For our loving, caring God no sacrifice was too great to break down the walls of hate and suffering and brokenness in our world.
Ironically I was so focused on the crosses today that it was easy for me to totally miss the beauty of the plants in front of them. Yet as I intentionally focused on the plants and marveled at their beauty, I was reminded that the full glory or God is revealed in the light of the Cross of Christ it is not the Cross itself.
Read Life Differently
I think sometimes our eyes are too focused on the cross. Our story ends on Good Friday rather than Easter Sunday. too focused. In our world too it is easy to focus on the negative, the problems rather than the solution, the images of despair rather than the glimmers of hope.
I think it is time for us to “read life differently’ to see the hope beyond despair, the glimpses of healing and wholeness in the midst of the ravages of disease and heartache, the beauty of new life where death has reigned.
I was thinking about that this week as I talked about my new book The Gift of Wonder and read through the responses people are sending me as they read the book. The joyful images I have been sent, and the comments about awe and wonder have surprised me. My own increasing joy and delight as see their creativity have spurred me to my own new expressions of awe. I have added awe and wonder plane trips to my awe and wonder walks, (yep, I am the one with the window shade open when you are trying to watch a movie on your screen) delighting in the unfolding of God’s beauty beneath me.
A Daily Dose of Awe and Wonder
Focusing on joy invigorates and empowers us. Awe begets awe. As we take notice of the awe inspiring aspects of our world, we start to notice awe and wonder wherever we go, even in grief ravaged faces and devastated landscapes. Then our faith grows and our belief in the ability of God to transform all things is renewed.
One of my favorite go to places for good news stories is the good news network. Stories like this one about the countries across Africa that are planting a great green wall of trees, convince me that if we enter each day with a sense of awe and wonder and look for the good things God is doing our attitude towards life will change and our ability to see beyond the cross to the new world God is creating will be transformed.
What Is Your Response?
Go for a walk around your neighborhood. What catches your attention? What gives you a sense of awe and wonder? How does this make you feel? How could you incorporate a daily dose of awe and wonder to your schedule? What impact do you think it could have on your life?