Tonight I experienced beauty in a very odd and unexpected way. Realizing that I needed to fulfill one more time for a blog post tonight, and dreading a time in the rain, I merely opened a window, turned off all the lights in the house, sat next to the window, and listened. I live in a neighborhood where my parents don’t usually condone spending large periods of time outside at night and, due to my own paranoia, the time I do spend outside, whether to take out the garbage, retrieve something from the yard or car, or just to look at the moon, is usually hastened. My yard is usually a frightening place at night, with large trees making looming shadows and faraway sirens worrying my ever-fearful mind. However, tonight I was able to sit, listen, feel, and observe. Today was a day with typical March weather: rain and snow. The snow had since melted away, leaving the yard with a peaceful breeze and a refreshing smell that comes after the rain. The lights from the neighborhood and surrounding city lit up the low clouds, and, because I had no lights coming from my house, they seemed even brighter than usual. Sounds from the nearby train track rumbled every now and then, and an airplane or two went overhead. I could hear my family talking from upstairs and laughing at me “meditating” in the living room with all the lights off and the window open.
Recently, I have been confronted by the business of my life. I often complain of a constant cycle of homework, sleeping, school, etc., and often wish that I could just remove myself from it all for a little while, and rest. This has always seemed rather unattainable for me; the times when I really feel refreshed are times like retreats or my yearly week at camp. However, tonight I was able to see that there was so much beauty, even in my backyard, that I had been ignoring. The light, for example, was a reflection of this beauty. When I have all the lights on in my house, the yard seems to be full of blackness and the shapes un-determinable. However, when all the lights were off and I was able to look out my window, I was able to see much of my yard and the beauty of the sky being lit up by the lights underneath it. I was able to see enough to see beauty from my window, but not enough to do things that I would need to do in the day.
When I thought about this further, I began to think of how it relates to the Christian life in so many ways. So often we are caught up in the big events of life, asking for big miracles, big changes, and big events to occur. We forget that God is working with us day-by-day, and, though He does provide in large ways as well, He also is working quietly in our lives, giving us enough grace for each day only. He is always working in our hearts and lives, even if we can’t see Him. If we only focus on big things, similar to the bright lights of my house, we loose the opportunity to thank God for the little things, similar to the lights at night in my yard. Also, my time sitting by my window reminded me of a verse in Exodus, when the Israelites were approaching a large battle. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14) The Lord calls us to trust in Him always, and we need only to be still and trust that He will bring about what we need most for each day. So often I try to make myself busy to fix my own problems, when the Lord calls me to be still and trust Him. This came to my mind as I was sitting at my window listening to the quiet. It was peaceful, and it was beautiful. This time also reminded me of a hymn by Charles A. Miles titled, In the Garden. It reads:
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
The time I spent by my window in the quiet reminded me of the beauty of spending time alone in the Word. Sometimes God calls us to action, but sometimes He calls us to trust, be still, and be thankful for the way He is quietly working in our lives.
Source for the Picture: http://indulgy.com/angelica/Favorite–Spaces–and–Places/from/81794473506
Hymn: In the Garden by Charles A. Miles