The Good Eye

“I wonder why I didn’t see it there before …”. Belle, from “Beauty and the Beast”

“You have a good eye”, she says.  “A good eye for color.”  I like the sound of that.  A good eye–my heart smiles.  I feel artistic, creative, color-full.  Yet, what does it really mean–to have a good eye?

I read the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful.

He says it, too, the beast/prince to Belle in the fairytale, “Try to find me and know me…no matter how I may be hidden from you.”

Is it possible to see this world with a good eye?  To see the prince in the beast? To see beauty in the ugly, in the wretched, in the unlovely?

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy (good), your whole body will be full of light“, the words of The Good Book reveal.

Full of light.  To be light-full.  No hate, no disgust, no evil intent.  Soul eye clear of life’s distorting cataracts–those shifting memory-shadows that shade, darken, infect.

A view through the lens of wabi-sabi: finding beauty in imperfection. Eye-filling goodness that transforms. 

Centered only on the prevailing light of the good eye of the Father of Lights … the bad eye becomes the good eye, seeing through the wretched to the hidden good and perfect gift within. 

 “Try to find me and know me…no matter how I may be hidden from you.”

Is it possible to see the world around me with a good eye? I’m not sure. But I think I’m willing to give it a try. At least I want to be willing. And maybe that’s good enough for now.

Love & Peace,

Note: Updated from my archives.

Our hearts are with the victims and their families in Dayton and El Paso. They remain in our prayers.

 

A Revelation of a Revolution

Photo by Myicahel Tamburini on Pexels.com

Human dignity—the foundation of human rights

Call me strange, but I really do believe that every living man, woman and child has an innate ability to hear God’s Voice. I also believe that nothing brings more dignity to humankind than knowing that the God of the Universe desires to share His good thoughts towards us–thoughts of a hope-filled future.

Prophecy (hearing God and speaking what He says) restores human dignity–the necessary cornerstone of a human-rights approach to social justice. 

Today, I am looking to the Heavens. If only God would once again send those who know His Voice, and who are not afraid to stand for Truth, into the harvest fields of justice upon the earth.

Yet, at the same time, the still small voice within reminds me that heaven’s view of justice may not necessarily be my own. 

Looking to the horizon, I sense the approach before it fully comes into view. A revelation of a revolution. I’m talking a “Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream!” kind of revelation. A revelation of a cleansing movement of Truth that brings about a revolution in the hearts of men that births something new upon the earth.

I don’t pretend to know what it will look like, but I do know this … God’s Voice living through His people will be in its foundation.

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” Psalm 89:14

God is building a foundation.  If you want to be at the top … well, that could be a problem.

Love & Peace,

Lois

Untied Laces

I re-read the words—the words of the Baptizer, the wilderness reformer who eats locusts and wild honey… 

“…He whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie”. 

He speaks of the Son of his mother’s cousin, Mary. 

Lost in thought, my fingers play with the leather bracelet on my wrist—a cherished gift made from the laces of the shoes of my dearly-departed father. 

The lace between my fingers, once rough and tough, now smooth and soft with age, reminds me of my father’s hands.  They bid me come.  There’s something I must know.

Flipping pages, I read again, and the words draw me into the story …

Jesus rises from the meal and removes his outer robe.  He takes a towel and wraps it about his waist, then fills the basin with water.  No one speaks. 

One by one, he unties laces, washes and dries feet.  He turns towards me with a look of pure love.  I am Peter.

“Oh, no, never!  Not my dirty feet.  How awkward, how embarrassing, how shameful! 

“If you don’t allow me to wash your feet, you cannot share life with me.”

The words hang heavy, along with my head and heart.  Tears rim my eyes.

“Friend, don’t you know that you are already clean?  You’ve been washed completely, only your feet need washed”.

Suddenly, a watercourse of understanding flows from my spirit headwaters within.  In Hebrew culture, shoes are often used in covenants of inheritance.  By allowing Jesus to untie my laces, and wash my feet, He unties me from the grime of this world, granting me a greater life–a greater inheritance than any natural inheritance.  Jesus offers me the new covenant inheritance of a shared life with Him.  I only need to offer Him my feet.

So I say yes, and place the soles of my feet in the Master’s hands and I receive the inheritance of life from Him whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie.  And He washes the grime from between my toes with the watery grace that flows from His wounded side, bending low as one who has come not to be served, but to serve. 

* * * * * * * * *

I leave the story fully known—and yet still fully loved—by God.  Stunned into pure grace once again, I know that there’s nothing too dirty that He can’t make worthy.  

Grace & Peace,

Lois

 

What do I do now?


Having recently hiked in the North Woods of Maine, I’ve come to an important realization.  Life often leads me just a few steps beyond my own mental reservations and self-imposed limitations.  So the question now remains… what do I do with this illuminating information?


I guess I’ll just jump. Take the proverbial leap of faith. What do I have to lose, really? Except my attitude, my opinion, my plans, my reputation, my ego … all in exchange for the discovery of TRUE LIFE.

“For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory,
you will continually discover true life.
But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves,
you will forfeit what you try to keep.”
~Jesus Christ

I Am Not Color Blind

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It’s been years now, but the memory-moment when I first saw her still runs deep.  Sitting cross-legged on the bed, with pink sponge curlers in her hair, she looks up as I enter our college dorm room.  Me, a middle-class white girl from the suburbs; she, a lower-class black girl born and raised in West Philadelphia.  Our eyes meet for a split second and then both our heads drop silent.

I grew up in white privilege; she grew up among the working poor.   We had a lot to discover about each other, and that we did.  A critical juncture; a defining year that gave me a new perspective beyond my own safe little world.

Amazing how God arranges life experiences to add in the missing pieces.  A divine appointment; a God set-up that added something needed, something of value, into the core of my identity.

My world got a whole lot bigger that year.  And I will be forever grateful to my West Philly roomie whom I grew to love, honor and respect.

Fast forward to last weekend…

We enter the retreat center where I am one of three invited speakers.  Seated beside the other speakers—all beautiful, strong and gifted African American women, I am feeling my “white-ness”.  I’ve heard these women speak before, with incredible power and passion.  They can raise the roof with their fiery-Pentecostal preaching.  An expectation to conform and perform begins to emerge from within me.

Conform and perform—I’ve done it before.  Not proud of it, but true.  Caved to my own internal pressure and took on another’s identity to be approved and accepted.  Yet in the process, I lost something invaluable—the gift of myself.

And then it hits me—my college roomie, this is the lesson we learned together.  I can honor and celebrate these African American women without pretending to be one of them.  By staying true to myself, I give room for others to stay true to themselves.

I quietly walk to the podium and begin sharing God’s love from my heart—in the way I do best, in the way I am designed.  People are moved by the gentle power of love—tears flow and healing comes.  I am a cool drink of water in the fiery heat of the day.  Different, yet the same.

I am not color blind.  God gave us color and the ability to distinguish between colors.  It’s a gift that I plan to celebrate more.  When we celebrate our differences by not pretending they do not exist, we celebrate the multi-faceted nature of God in whose image we all were created.  

Different, yet the same.  Hard to explain.  A divine mystery from the heart of God that I one day hope to understand better.

 

Ascending the Heights

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Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.*

Rugged hill challenges of life—they call me.  Mostly because I yearn for a change of scenery—a view from higher heights.  A spiritual lens upgrade.

No longer a slave to what I witness in the outward.  Breaking free from reality’s cruel grasp.  My thoughts take flight—into the high places of the sky.  Where tidal surges of hope rush upward and eternal.

Arise, my darling!
Come quickly, my beloved.
Come and be the graceful gazelle with me.
Come be like a dancing deer with me.
We will dance in the high place of the sky,
yes, on the mountains of fragrant spice.
Forever we shall be united as one!*

God’s thoughts are high.  His ways are high.  Residing far above my rugged-hill ways.  His thoughts are hidden among mountains of fragrant grace.  He beckons me to come & draws me with climbing cords of love.  (Really, it’s quite scandalous, this grace.)

And in the rarefied air of heavenly heights, my thoughts become fastened on all that is lovely; all that is honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind.

Writer-Poet Carl Sandburg’s words entice me:  “Here or there you may witness a startling harmony…where you say, “This will be haunting me a long time with a loveliness I hope to understand better.” 

When the day breaks and the shadows flee, I encounter a startling harmony within.  My beloved is altogether lovely.  A loveliness that has haunted me a very long time.  A loveliness that I hope to understand better.  A loveliness that renews and transforms.

*Author’s Note:  Writing for me becomes a dialogue with the Spirit of God.  My heart’s response to scriptures whispering through my spirit.  This dialogue flows from Song of Songs 2:17 (NIV) and  8:14 (TPT) and Philippians 4:8.  May the dialogue continue within you.  Love and Peace.