Tuesday Poem 003

Look! See!

Look! Exclamation of two year olds and middle age whale watchers
commands immediate attention in sand box and off starboard side
offers a guards down gift of sudden sight.

Lookie-here is Old Country, like wrinkled grandpa porch rocking
hound at his feet. Mind my words son, my wise, year-full words. Makes
no difference, young-uns reckless, half-eared things.

Looking is committed motion. Cranks your neck to acute angle, drops
what you’re doing. Like when a toddler palm-holds your face by the cheeks
pulls your chin up, demands eye level “look at me” looking.

As if God had to ignore everything else and concentrate carefully on
the right mix of clay and spit in his hands. No. God’s mountain view
was pregnant with infinity. Visions of good, also for our eyes.

Imagine looking, seeing, like you just found out it’s the bonus question
on the exam. Like myopic tending to what is forming in your sweaty palms
is secondary to seeing what is very good. Like snow days matter.

Behold and see, lift your eyes and see, look and see.
Pay attention. Look long and hard. Imagine.
Look! See!

New sight

A few thoughts on ‘seeing’, inspired by my son Malcolm’s new glasses;

Malcolm’s been having headaches for over a year, and immediately we visited the MD, and the Optometrist and had his eyes tested. They were fine a year ago, but when we returned for his annual eye exam, his eyes had changed. Our friend and optometrist Dave Grimes said, “Malcolm, you need glasses.” We were surprised, Malcolm especially, because he didn’t know he needed them. He had no idea that what he saw when he looked around his world was not as it should be.

I’ve been thinking on the things that says to me, and thought I’d share those thoughts with you today;

We sometimes don’t know our vision is blurred… Malcolm put on his new glasses and immediately said, “Wow, I can’t believe that it was that bad… now I can see details in things that I didn’t know were missing.” My son Graeme said, “But, I thought you’d know if you couldn’t see.” “Nope,” said Malcolm, “I had no idea.” Wow!

To see means to lift your eyes from the ground or the path and look up at what surrounds you… THAT is perspective. One might have to step back a little to see the big picture, and on a regular basis. I suggest that taking time out for a mountain top view is best. For me that means a time away from everything, and a time to connect with the one with the grand vision… God.

To continue to see properly, one has to clean one’s glasses. Malcolm does this regularly because he now knows the difference between seeing and not seeing and values his new sight. Daily cleaning is required.

To see properly can mean the end of headaches, fatigue, frustration…Malcolm’s glasses mean no more Extra Strength Tylenol. I don’t know about you, but I can do without some of those things in my life too.

Each person sees differently and sees different things… we are blessed by living in relationships with others that help focus our sight by sharing theirs… spouses, families, friends, work associates, faith communities can all do this for us.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to ‘look’ because we’re human, we get our heads down and work away and forget about the beautiful view. I’m amazed at the number of verses in the Bible that say, “Look and see”, or “Lift up your head”. I need reminding. Even with glasses on, Malcolm still needs to look up.

• Often what I want is to see everything. Who do I think I am… God? Seeing in the moment is really all I can ask for. God sees the rest and takes care of it. He promised he would and he does. I need to believe that to the best of my ability.

• The message on the eye chart to the left says… (can you see it?)… “You can rarely see what is right under your nose.” but I disagree.We have a choice in this… it is within our grasp to change our vision, see clearly, look up, and see amazing things. Can you see it? I catch glimpses and find myself craving more. And the more I focus on God, the better I feel I see. That’s me… what about you?

On the path, trying to keep my eyes on the view,


Baby steps, but still walking.

Sometimes I wonder if the little things are what count the most. Like the things you do along the way… you know, the journey, rather than the destination? ‘Cause I can get pretty bogged down by the thoughts of what to do, where to go, where I’m headed, and lose sight of the things that are right under my nose. Today I’m just trying to take one moment at a time and let God take care of the big picture stuff.

Last week I blogged about some big picture stuff, and I do love doing that. My heart beats faster when I envision a great big picture, and I begin to see myself stepping out into something wild and wonderful. Then, as I begin to work out some details and the reality hits me, I often find myself deflated, less than enthusiastic, even scared. And I start to wonder if it’s what God wanted me to do at all or some crazy pipe dream I came up with. Then I wonder how I can truly figure out what God wants from me?

A friend shared with me the other day about her husband’s perspective on the question of what God wants him to do. He looks at it this way, “who cares”. WOW! This man is a devoted Christ follower, gives his time and talent and money to many things, loves his God, loves his family, works hard at his career, and when he says this, it’s without any sense of disrespect or irony.

I believe what he means is this… when you are in a loving relationship with God, and are living your life (to the very best of your ability) to please God and bring glory and honour to God, (and covered with a huge umbrella of God’s grace, of course) then it doesn’t really matter what decision you make, God’s going to do the best with it, make the best of it, use it to his purposes. Bottom line is, just do SOMETHING! Stop dithering. Make a decision.

I have to say that’s a good way of looking at things. Can it be backed up biblically… I think so. Many (all?) of the fathers and mothers of the faith were messed up sinners like me, and God continued to allow his plans to go forward in spite of all the times that humanity got in the way. Things like murder, adultery, lies, disobedience, things that were contrary to how God wants things to be, happened, and still God worked with those people because he loved them and they loved him in spite of their downfalls. He did good with them and through them. Big hope for me here.

There’s another perspective on determining God’s will. It’s the one where people pray, seek God, and then wait for clear direction before moving forward. And I know many dear Christians (some of them, my friends) who live this way, and truly believe that God directs specifically, clearly, and they follow his lead. I would never ever discount their experience or their integrity. I too have experienced this uncanny providential involvement in the details of my life that cannot be written off as coincidence, or fancy. And those times are epiphanies and have proven to be life or direction changing. I believed and still do believe that God directs in this way, and the bible is full of examples of times that this happened. But this usually doesn’t happen for me on a daily basis (probably because I can be obtuse a lot of the time).

Me, well, I fall someplace in the middle of the ‘who cares’ and needing to have the writing on the wall before acting. Problem is, that often leaves me in a void of indecision, considering this way and that way and the next way, rather than just stepping out and doing SOMETHING. In my heart of hearts I’d like to pray and ask and see writing on the wall all the time, and sometimes I’m standing in the way of that happening. Being a slight control freak type ‘A’ personality means that I’m used to figuring things out, taking charge, making things happen. Only if I want God to lead that doesn’t necessarily work, does it?

So, back to today. No big picture planning today. Today I’m cleaning my house and looking forward to coffee with friends in a couple of hours. No agendas, no life altering plans. Just enjoying completing the tasks at hand and then we’ll sit and talk. Tonight I’m going to show up with my daughter and take tickets at the door of a local benefit concert for Haiti. No wondering how the money will get to Haiti, no considering how I might be able to use my writing to help with the crisis there. No, I will take tickets and smile and thank people for coming. And then I will go home. And that’s all OK. God will take care of the rest.

I’m not quite at a place where I can say, “who cares”, but maybe that’s where I should be. If I could only step aside and make room for God to show up and do what he has in mind, with whatever circumstance I’m in, whatever choice I make, wherever I may be on the path. Baby steps with God holding my hand, walking ahead of me. Like, in the words of a song by Switchfoot, “Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady.”

And like this verse,

“I being in the way, the Lord led me”. (Genesis 24:27)

On the path, blind and dumb,


Tell me about hope

So I’m wondering what does hope means to you? Is it something you need, do you seek after it, how does it come to you? Are you high or low on hope right now?

Hope, to me, is closely associated with vision or perspective… like how I tend to see things. So, if I’m seeing things in a slightly distorted, pessimistic kind of way, then my hope quotient is pretty low. The reverse is also true.

I find that certain people bring me hope, or take it from me, depending on who they are and how they approach life. Again, the attitude and the application of that particular attitude to doing life either increases or decreases hope inside me. And sometimes it’s a personality bent that creates a more or less hopeful person.

Hope is also about faith. Because the things I hope for are always based upon what will be rather than what is. Even if it’s what I project further into my day… hoping for the way it might turn out. Or, it might be hope for something long term, even eternal hope. That’s the faith part.

So, at this time in my life I’m on a bit of a hope roller coaster, and I’m trying to figure out how to maintain a bit more equilibrium. To be able to approach life with enough hope to hang onto, on those days that are bleak or challenging.

Tell me your thoughts on the subject. I’m listening.