For five days, we traverse from South Carolina through eleven states, pushing pavement west for 2400 miles toward Phoenix. Over the Arkansas delta, flaxen plains of Oklahoma, and the brushy wide open spaces of Texas; her flat terra cotta terraces draped in marble blue sky. In the Land of Enchantment, vibrant shades of pink streak lavender sky as the sun melts from a giant orange orb to radiant gold pooling over a dark mountain range, a glowing outline jutting across the horizon.
The rapid fire clicking of a camera shutter from the back seat provides background music to the wonder we see through the windshield. My son looks through the lens of his camera, captivated by uncommon beauty. And this is perhaps the gift God is giving to each of us as we make our way home to the west for Christmas.
Sometimes I trap myself waiting for thoughts to line up into neat little rows of sentences for you. I struggle to begin when details are profuse and time shallow. But the longer I wait to write, the more complex I make the process. Resistance becomes my unwanted companion.
Frederick Buechner writes, “Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but spiritually.
When we stop noticing the beauty of a rusty abandoned bridge, a sunset, cultural contrasts and the way our soul awakens in the midst of new people and places, we miss the presence of God. And this becomes dangerous to our humanity.
I’m taking notes in my journal daily. Of conversations, places we visit and the way Light slants over what is dead and makes it beautiful. I’m learning that abundant life requires noticing.
How are you noticing lately?
When we hold ourselves hostage to expectations, we live as prisoners instead of free and unfettered children of our Savior.
Sabbath is a weekly reminder to notice. The art of our lives is most beautiful and captivating when we let go and trust God for perspective.
Thanks for hanging in there with me as we travel this month and posts are sporadic. Here are a few books I’m reading and places where I’m writing lately:
Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty – This book is an empathetic shoulder to lean on for those (like me) who are in a lengthy waiting season and longing for resolution.
The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson – I’ve been savoring this book for months and probably highlighted the majority. He is so very wise and a friend to those of us who write in this one.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – There is a reason this book is on every list of top sellers. Beautiful writing makes a hard story easy to read.
Am I Enough? – My post at Share the Hope and my first UK writing assignment. Click over for more Advent reflections from people around the world.
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