Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week of Joy: Day 6

(Photo by Rodger, with minor editing by me; reprinted with permission. Special thanks to the parents of the children for permission to post the image online.)

This image, submitted by my spiritual brother Rodger, hardly needs any words from me. Yet I will offer a few, for it is perhaps my favorite of all of the images he sent. It certainly speaks of joy - but also of every one of the 7 holy pauses we are celebrating.

Joy - Rodger indicated that these adolescent siblings were a joy to be with during their visit to California, always together, having fun, sharing humor - often without having to say a word to each other.

Hope - Seeing two such beautiful young people appreciating nature and their family offers hope when so often we hear the words, "What is this world coming to?" in reference to the younger generations. If this is what it is coming to, we have nothing to fear.

Grace - There is no word but grace for the gift of receiving such an image, the beauty of the brother and sister, the beauty of the ocean meeting the shore. There is special grace also in the gathering of good friends from days long ago, the context in which this image was received.

Mercy - The ocean and the skies above it can be powerful and dangerous. There is a mercy in a stormless horizon. {Though admittedly this sky has some clouds, contemplating this mercy brings to mind a favorite recording of mine by The Blind Boys of Alabama, Uncloudy Day*.}

Love - Certainly there is love here, love of brother and sister, love of life and the earth, love of God in His majestic beauty.

Light - The radiance of the late day sun casting long shadows on the beach is breath-taking. (Soon we will be reflecting on Light as our 7th holy pause - stay tuned.)

Peace - I want to step into this picture, on to this clean, peaceful beach, to stroll with these young folks. I want to feel the sand squishing through my toes and the ocean waves swirling up around my ankles. If you are stressed or weary, join me. Allow your senses to transport you...

Joy awaits...

* If you would like to read the lyrics to this beautiful old hymn, click hereAnd if you would like to see a short video of the Blind Boys performing it, click here. Enjoy!