Looking is the beginning of seeing.
~Sister Corita Kent (from God in the Yard)
I don’t know if L.L. took a camera to the yard. So far I don’t see that she said I couldn’t.
I often take a tray to sit on wet grass or table. It holds my camera, binoculars, small Bible, God in the Yard, a steno pad, and a pencil.
And a cup of steaming tea.
And then I wait.
L.L. writes about contemplation in chapter 3. There’s so much meat in those few pages. I’ve read them over and over.
She says that to “mark out a temple” is one meaning of the word.
And that brings to mind a favorite scripture, a life verse:
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that shall I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple. Psalm 27:4 (NASB)
And where better to seek, discover, contemplate, and behold His beauty than in His Word and in His creation?
For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made . . . Romans 1:20 (NASB)
I think I’ve always sensed this in some form, being drawn to the woods and the waters even as a child. But at times losing that sense of wonder in the swirl of busyness.
Contemplation also means “to put together.” And when I dare to pick through and reclaim the broken pieces from my darkness, I find renewal in the light. Maybe this is why I’m beginning to love sunrise so much.
From darkness to light where everything shimmers and sparkles. There’s a wholeness and a newness in that.
L.L. describes how “some monastics deemed contemplation to be more about control than drifting.” They undertook certain disciplines, attempted to control thoughts and feelings in order to be more capable of a closer relationship with God.
She describes her “brand” as “drift and doze.”
(I will say I haven’t I haven’t fallen asleep yet.)
Some caution against the “emptying” the mind, or maybe even drifting, and Paul describes the importance of “frisking” our thoughts in Philippians 4:8.
It seems to me, though, that the more I try to do all these things, the more it becomes more about me. But I have control in the going. In the rising from my bed and in placing my feet on holy ground in my backyard sanctuary. My temple. Where I can then invite Him to join me.
Where I can just let go.
And let Him reveal Himself in new ways.
In my yard.
Oh, and L.L. quotes Leonardo DaVinci. I love this.
Do not despise my opinion when I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or ashes or a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvelous ideas . . . By indistinct things the mind is stimulated to new inventions.
Here are some of the things I would have missed had I stayed in bed this week.
The hawk that got away.
I thought the robins had gone
Feeble attempt at a reflection picture for PhotoPlay.
Some awesome photos there.
Hey Jennifer, I see a cross left lower corner.!–