Oh, but I want to notice what is happening around me!
I was thinking this morning about how our eyes can be opened to beauty around us in an instant. We don't see it, and then all of a sudden we do.
A good friend of mine has been in and out of court many times in the past couple of years standing on behalf of her foster daughter. Yesterday she texted to say she had just come out of court, with the news that the next hearing will be in March. Though I stand with my friend in prayer hoping for an end to all this waiting and deferred hope, I realized in an instant upon reading her text yesterday that each time the court says "come back later," they are really saying "more time." Each additional allotment of time with her foster daughter, each three months extra till the next court date, is doled out in a way that most of our lives aren't. We don't think, Oh, three more months to have our family look like this. But because of her experience, my friend sees with different eyes. She knows that each additional day of having her family look like it does now is something to notice and something to value.
And upon waking, we see value where value has been all along. Lauren Daigle was no one to me. I had heard her songs on the radio without knowing whose they were or giving them a second thought. Just another copycat Christian song, I was likely to think in one of my lesser charitable moments. But I ran into my friend Kara with earbuds in her ears, and immediately wondered Which podcast? When I asked, Kara told me it was Lauren Daigle's Pandora station. Because Kara knew about Lauren's background as a poet, songwriter, and singer, and because Kara valued her music, my eyes were opened in an instant. This talented musician was there all along, but I didn't see her until I did.
It's like realizing I've been missing my favorite thing on the menu at Tandem because I never wanted to try that Banana Nut crepe that my friend Kristy always gets. But one day I was feeling brave, and now I see bananas and nutella in a new light.
I see sunrises in a new light if I take the time to notice. What a statement! And no way in the world to make it stay in the sky. Just watch it and be amazed. Let the beauty bathe your heart as you enter another day.
I see new friends in my life, like Janna with two n's and a second Kristy, as gifts God was saving for just the right time. How did he know my heart could expand and be even richer in friendship?
I see my kids as people, people who need clothes, people who don't always like school, people who love Christmas and want toys, people with bad attitudes and funny comments and the sweetest spirits. And if I don't miss the show, I see that when they're sick, like Sailor was yesterday, all these small people really need is for me to be a person. My family as I know it is nothing if not a beautiful spectacle, and God forbid I stay asleep and miss it!
I see my writing as what James K.A. Smith calls a "faithful presence" in the world, as we makers pursue the One who made us to make. I want to see, I want to give witness, I want to do this noble and beautiful thing another day, another time. Another Tuesday. Another Thursday. Another nap time. Another writing block. Another idea. Another ramble on about existential things. Another encouragement to any one who listens.
But in all truth, if nobody noticed, I won't be sad. The value is in knowing that out of what I've been given, I am giving back to God, to myself, to my family, to my friends, to life itself. I might not make a sunset, but I sure can watch one. And if I'm lucky along the way, the noise I'm making might wake up a few others to see the thing of beauty too.