In the morning, the rain comes, and I do what I have determined to do more and more these days: I stop to see, to gather up the feeling of the breeze lifting my hair away from my cheeks. I spy a plump cardinal hiding just inside the gardenias bobbing gently by the steps, an elegant and stately bit of love-red sheltered from the glittering, wet casacade. The rain falls gently, almost without sound—-a washing of soul-nourishing peace.
For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreeement. Word gathers, like raindrops in my palm.
A spider web in my window—cottony, ugly thing I should have swept away with my broom long ago—becomes a celestial road, glinting. It is an offering, a gift, an extravagant trade for all of the impossible, broken, heavy things I have only just whispered skyward, my breath coming hard, the sweat dripping from my fingers. I ventured out between the storms to run, shedding myself in the valley between bruised and swollen clouds, in that tender space where every color deepens and all creation holds its breath in anticipation. So now I stand hearing, simply receiving Grace-gathered, Grace sweetly dripping from my arms. Prayer is, after all, a conversation. I will not cease to be moved by the way God redeems my perspective, the way–right in front of me, just there—He refashions what I would have disminished, discarded, making it something unimaginably beautiful. It’s as though He turns my head gently with His hands, urging me to look again.
And that’s when something echoes—gathered words from a book–another gift:
‘We’re all blessed and we’re all blighted… Every day each one of us does our sums. The question is, what do we count?'(~Louise Penny)
This. Another whisper, barely spoken. I count this-—the gathering of beauty, the truth that God cares in detail, that He always works powerfully for good, that He is the repurposing artist from which all creativity has come. God still sees beauty in all the blenching things–the ones moving me to shrink into Him for shelter. He always sees potential where I see disrepair. I’m grateful that in His fingers, mud becomes a healing salve, that He uses even the mud to restore my sight.
So in the morning the rain comes, and I turn my mother bones toward the door, ready now to see my children—not with these weary, crumbling, limited eyes but by the grace that glimpses God-glory rising. They represent some of His best work—and right before me, just there—He shows me His limitless power, His vast and extravangant creativity. I walk into the huddle of them, the treasure of His gentle questions still glistening light on my skin:
How will you see today? What will you count?