yellow flower in street cropped

The eye is the lamp of the body.

So, if your eye is healthy,

your whole body will be full of light;

but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.

If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Matthew 6:22-23

 

Seeker,

What might you have already overlooked on this blessed–broken day,

brimming with the real presence of pain AND possibility?

 

We don’t see what we don’t see

and we don’t see the half of it!

So often, we don’t even stop to look.

 

We overlook, we pass by,

looking away or looking ahead,

anxious only for what’s next!

 

The less we overlook,

the more present we become,

and the harder it is to get things done.

 

Our first task  in approaching the burning sacrament of Holy Presence,

in the midst of this moment,

is to bare our soles in humility, like Moses before the bush.

 

We open wide our eyes.

We notice. We stop to see.

We stoop to listen, as we turn our face to the unfolding mystery.

And, if we listen,

we will know how to love.

 

Wherever you are, be the soul of that place. 

Abraham Heschel

In any given moment, at every given place

so much is happening, turmoil and triumphs seen and unseen,

unfurling in the lives close by and beyond us.

 

The ones who care, and care deeply, are those who are arrested

— stopped, speechless and startled into awareness—

by the troubles of our times.

 

HOW we present ourselves,

HOW we come before any moment or event

shapes WHO we each become, and HOW we respond.

 

Whether we are watching the news,

witnessing a trauma, noticing a neighbor,

attending to fragile life in gardens and gutters,

looking out for lost and lonely souls …

 

just choosing to stop, to look, to listen…

this is already a response

to the needs and opportunities of these times.

 

And what about

the invisible people we take for granted,

the ones who grace our days unaware?

 

Taking for granted

is the opposite of being present,

and being present is another word for contemplation.

 

When we go about our business,

getting from here to there as quickly as we can,

who do we bypass, what goes unnoticed,

till life breaks over us or we run headlong into it?

 

There is a cost

in paying attention.

It is the price and burden of caring.

 

By choosing to care we…

unsheathe our hearts,

let life interrupt or derail our plans,

let go of easy exemption from the suffering of others,

put down the stone and drop the accusation,

step away from finger pointing or quick-fixing,

hold out an open heart.

 

We  listen,  we watch,  and we wait.

 

This is what it takes to bear witness,

recognizing that whatever and whoever is dear to our dear God

is also dear to you and me.

 

For we are all,  in some way,  responsible for each other.

 

Even and especially when we can do little

to directly affect the outcome, our choice to care changes  US.

 

May caring lead you to deeper questions and broader connections,

 

joe