Friday, 21 January 2011

The glory of the Lord

Hey, God.

Days like today your glory is easy to see. I was out in the countryside today and it was glorious.  It was a bright, sunny, oh-so-cold but glorious day (there it is again). Crisp and fresh, the frost and ice were doing wonderful things on each blade of grass (and again) and I spent Grown Up time with two very special friends of mine. 

So all these good things happened to me today. And apple cake happened as well, a slice as big as my head, actually, and a nice latte, good company, beautiful surroundings....

Thankyou that you're not a distant, inscrutable God who never gives us any clues as to who you are - it's written all around us.

A few weeks ago there was more snow than you could shake a stick at but no two flakes were the same. No two. Thanks that even when it's cold enough to have frost on the inside of the windows, the crystals are unique and beautiful and with the sun behind them, they take your breath away.

Why?  I'm sure that nobody would have objected if you'd made all snowflakes the same; it probably wouldn't have crossed anyone's mind to think, 'Crikey, these snowflakes are all the same. That's a bit dull'. 

But you made each one different yet still beautiful just because you could. Just for fun.  You put the stars up there, the planets and the supernovas and the comets and you made them beautiful, just because it pleased you to do it that way. Creator indeed.

The source of Creativity.

What a heart you must have to give so freely all those gifts of loveliness just in a day's work. Does it please you when we notice? When we don't just walk on by? When we pause to examine the ice on the windscreen before we scrape it off and put the demister on? Or do you watch, mildly disappointed, when we don't turn to look at the rainbow, or we're too busy being grumpy with other drivers to notice the way the sun comes through the trees?

Anyway, there's more. On Wednesday this week I sacrificed a trip to the gym (ha!) to help out at Katy's nursery because they were having a visit from Bob the Owl Man. He brought in four of his owls to meet the children (nerves of steel these owls) and to teach the little ones a bit about owls. Rocky the Barn Owl flew silently from one end of the gym to the other, so silently that all the children were fooled when Bob asked them if they could tell where he was with eyes closed. I knew they were quiet, but it amazed me.

Later Katy and I had a turn to go close to one of the owls (a White Faced Scops Owl, name of Gizmo) and Bob gave Katy a special glove and waved some food so that Gizmo landed on her arm. At less than arms length (her arms aren't very long) he was just spectacular.  Enormous bright orange eyes, sharp, sharp claws, such fabulous feathers.

I was so glad that Kate didn't want to go to the front on her own (though I did try to encourage her to, honestly!) because it meant that I had an opportunity to see Gizmo from close quarters as well. I love birds, generally, but this creature was a masterpiece. Got to hand it to you.  And Gizmo's relatives in the wild come out at night, when they rarely get seen! It's not as if you show off your works of art for us to admire. You did it just because.

I suppose I could leave it there, just letting you know that I'm full of praise and admiration for a job more than well done.  That would be enough.

But those things - the scenery, the frost, the stars, even the owl - it doesn't end there.  Anyone can see that they're beautiful and I bet many many people who don't know you might suspect that you're there when they stop to look and think and marvel.

It occurred to me that you show yourself to me in much more subtle ways as well.  Take my friends, for instance.  Today I sat in a cafe and chatted and drank coffee and my friends showed me you. How blessed am I in life with one or two special people who love me, who are consistent and caring and reliable and honest. Friends who listen and to whom I can listen, with whom I seem to fit together. They're not related to me, and the commitment they make and honour isn't a formal one in any sense, but they're there, and I can count on them. They support me, advise me, laugh and cry with me and bring the best out of me.

That's a little piece of your glory too.

Last night I went singing at church - a group of about twelve of us, largely made up of the Worship Group, semi professional musicians and serious singers with decades of music experience and buckets of talent, and then me. I had a great time, thanks to the patience and humour of those I was standing near.

I just loved it; in that group was a lovely feeling that we were there just to lift to you our voices and some well chosen words; to please you. We had fun worshipping you. For your glory. And you were there. I think you must have been smiling. Even if it was only at the way I couldn't follow the right melody line and kept swapping inadvertently between alto and tenor.

It happens so often, if only we see it. The way Katy or Lizzie puts their hand in mine, or spontaneously reaches for a hug, somebody doing something incredibly brave that you hear about on the news, that ache I get in my jaw when I first take a sip of a full bodied cabernet sauvignon on a Friday night after a long week.

Little moments that you send for me for no other reason than to make me happy - moments that show me a glimpse of the glory of your spirit.  Earth is far from perfect but there still can be found the reflection of your glory when my eyes are really open. And not just when we're singing together on Sunday and it feels as if the angels have lifted off the church roof so that I can hear their voices too. Though that's pretty good.

Help me to see it, to have my eyes open, instead of going through my days asleep or focused on things too close up that I can't see far enough into the distance.

Thankyou for today, the way you came to my mind in so many ways.

Lord, you are beautiful indeed.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.

Amen.




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