I’ve always had a fascination with sunrises and sunsets. Ever since I owned my first camera in high school, you know the little ones with film inside, I would snap pictures. Try to capture the expansive beauty as the sky changed colors. Never able to fully capture the glory.
I think I’d lost the obsession for a while. After moving to Houston and being surrounded by concrete and noise and life getting ever busier. But still. On vacations, I’d snap away. This time without the film. And now, at the farm, my phone camera at the ready. My favorite spot for an hour or more in the evening is the front or back porch. Sun lighting up the hay and the barn and the bayou.
I read an article from Ruth Chou Simons last week which demanded my attention. The advent of mobile devices brought a fundamental shift in the way we engage with the world… We’ve been given so much to look at, but we are missing the art of beholding. We are so captivated by our technology and all that it puts before our eyes that we overlook the ways that God displays His glory through creation, relationship, and our ordinary circumstances in the day to day.
We’ve lost sight of Him.
Look up child.
We miss the bridge across the water.
The sunset passes us by.
A bird sings its evening song but we don’t hear it over the YouTube video.
And missing His displays, at every corner, colors how we see others, and the world.
I have a child who is having a brutally hard start to fourth grade. Really, this is the hardest we’ve ever had it during the school year, and we’ve had our trials. Classes are deeply challenging, relationships are adversarial, all of which is leading to heartbreaking meltdowns nearly every evening. It’s also leading to a general sense of malaise, a request to stop participating in everything – sports, special 4th grade activities, etc.
This weekend, Bray took this one to the farm, one on one. Before sunrise, they’d wake to catch fish. And catch fish they did. He would send me pictures in the morning light with a face-splitting smile from this sweet face next to a big shimmering redfish.
God in the light and the bayou and the fish and the quiet.
Whenever they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are – face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence… And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our life and we become like Him. 2 Corin. 3:16-18 (The Msg)
As William Blake says: We become what we behold.
Look up child.
It does not calm the storm. It does not quench the fire. It changes your perspective on your circumstances. You can see His beauty – you recognize His face there in the midst of it.
Lauren Daigle sings a song, Look Up Child,
You’re not threatened by the war
You’re not shaken by the storm
I know, You’re in control
Oh, I hear you say
“Look Up Child”
I hear You, I hear You calling my name,
“Look Up Child”
Set down the distractions. Step away from the monstrous cement towers and small mesmerizing screens and screeching soundtrack.
Look up to see Him. In the trees and the roly pollies and the wind and the sunset and swimming pool cannonballs and the laughter and the dogs out for a walk and the neighbor planting flowers and the little one picking up the elderly’s dropped groceries and the stillness.
But look up. Remember, we are transforming. It’s our choice as to what we transform.
We all are being transformed… 2 Corin. 3:18 (NIV)