I had never given much thought to the fact that God used a serpent in the desert when He said the Israelites must look upon it to live. Then follows the irony of Jesus telling His disciples that just as the serpent was raised up so the people could look on it and live, so would they look on Him raised up on the cross and live.
In this chapter Ann talks about what it means to see God. Where do we see Him? How do we look upon Him? Are we always looking for Him?
And then comes the real question: Can I see God when I'm not in the field under the moon, by the seashore listening to the waves, standing in awe of mountain majesties? Can I see God in my everyday?
If the only way to pray without ceasing is to pray with eyes wide open, then that means I must see Him in every moment, in every detail. In every detail. But do we really want to see? I mean truly see?
"I have profaned the sacred, treated the holy in an unholy way. There are times, I still do. But I am prayerfully purposing to walk towards all of life as sacred ground, all of life as hallowed–because God is here,The beauty we observe is a reflection of God, who is Beauty Himself. Do I see the beauty in everything?
There is one thing that stayed with me the whole way through the chapter, and I'm pretty sure I know why. It is this: What of Darryl? His role in this Run For the Moon is veiled but vital. Why did this haunt me? Because what Darryl did for Ann is what Steve does for me, has done for me every day since we met when I was fifteen. He has always supported, always celebrated who I am deep-down. He has seen it even when I didn't see it myself because he took the time and effort to truly know me. I was touched when at the end of the chapter Ann wraps the whole thing back around to an awareness of the beautiful gift her husband had given her. What a selfless, Godly thing to do. We are wives blessed of God.
Almost poetically, I turned a page in chapter 6 and a note from Steve fell out of my book.
"I love you. You are so wonderful."
Sharing the study of this book with him is one of the greatest blessings of discovering it.
I have discovered such beauty in the writings, in the faces, in just the meeting in this tiny way, of so many lovely women from all over the world in the study and discussion of this book. I have seen beauty I didn't know existed in the thoughts shared by these women I didn't know existed only a month ago. I read of their shadow moments, of their calling out to God, of their hope and their joy rising up from the ashes of tragedy and loss and illness and pain, and instead of shrieking "Curse God and die!" they swallow hard and softly whisper, "I want to see God and live."
I want to see God and live.
Seed: I feel like I am being urged to look with new eyes, with eyes healed by the Gentle Healer, at all of life, each and every moment. To look for the good, to look for the God in all of it.
Water: Each time I share the beauty and transformation of this book with another soul, I feel as though its truths take deeper and deeper root within my heart. The awareness of His presence, of His good and perfect gifts, of His goodness in all things at all times, has become so acute that it's almost palpable. I shared it with several people this week, and find myself giddy with excitement when I read passages to them and their eyes light up and I can see they are instantly hungry for more. We all have holes that only His beauty can fill. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to look for it.
Bloom: I am different. I can feel it in many ways, the most obvious of which I notice in the deep inner peace that has settled over me. Along with that has come a deep longing to grow kinder, more gentle, more compassionate, more graceful toward others. I am watching negativism ebb away, my words becoming more aligned with His Word, my joy being made more and more complete.
There is so much to learn, so many ways to grow. This is my time to bloom.
"Suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart—and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty."