Thursday, December 16, 2010

All This Beauty

It was supposed to be fun. It was meant to be time together to enjoy the beauty of the lights. It wasn't. Everyone was tired. Final exams and progress assessments and holiday shopping and busyness had made us stressed out and cranky. A short jaunt in the car had devolved into a long, argument-filled, tear-inducing ride.

"Look!" my beloved would point out. "Those lights right there are really pretty!"

"Hey!" I'd call out. "Those people have lights in Colts colors. And they even have a lit up horseshoe on their door!"

"Wow," declared my husband. "Those are really bright. See?"

"Ohhhh..." I'd whisper. "Those are beautiful!"

"All this beauty and it's free to us!" we'd say, delighted.

It was to no avail. It didn't matter. Everyone was stuck in their own little bubble of misery and they couldn't see the good things--even when they were pointed out to them--because they were unwilling to be moved.

Soon enough, my beloved and I were sucked in. There was some yelling. There was some martyred sighing and some muttering of self-pitying phrases. The whole van had become a black hole of hard feelings and stony hearts.

Eventually, apologies were offered all around. One apologized to another for hitting. Someone else apologized for yelling. Yet another offered an "I'm sorry" for impatience. We all apologized. We all forgave.

It could have been fun. It could have been beautiful. But it wasn't. The whole experience was marred by our own selfish behavior; our own inability to see past our own noses.

After we arrived home and had everyone settled in to one activity or another, my mind couldn't let it go. My heart was pricked and my spirit was heavy. How often had I done this very thing to The One who had given me so much? How often had I refused to see the Beauty because of my selfishness?

"Look!" He'd say. "See this mercy? Isn't it amazing?"

"Hey!" He'd call out. "Do you see the abundant love and care and provision I've given you?"

"What about that grace?" He'd ask. "Isn't it beautiful?"

All those gifts and they are free to me! Lord, help my mind and heart and spirit be quick to see them. Forgive me for being unwilling to see past my own nose. I want to always be moved to whisper "Ohhhh! Those are beautiful!"

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