To see life and to see it whole

There is such beauty in the everyday.

If we only have eyes to see it.

And the longer I am incarcerated in the house, the more I yearn for sights beyond my four walls.

Even though I detest spiders, shrieking and screaming at their appearance, their webs fascinate me.

Gossamer threads strung pure as pearls with strength belying their fragile appearance.

Fine silken cords with hooks to ensnare the unsuspecting, creating a web of deception, a hiding-place for the unwary, a chasm to flex and fix its victim securely.

Intricately laced design that delights the eyes even as they scan for the dark horror lurking within. Yes, I can wax lyrical even over a spider’s web!

And whenever I have an opportunity, I take a picture and create a memory album of life. Going outside my door is a big event these days. I breathe deep, gulping in air like it’s going out of fashion, set my gaze on sky or earth and view it all with new eyes.

As an inept amateur, my shaky-handed shots are far from Pinterest perfect.

But they stir a deep well of appreciation inside.

Looking back I see seasons shift. Remember brief spasms of sun on my face. Lush green land and bright blue sky. Breeze and clouds moving.

Colour and life in plant and tree. Ducks waddling and canoeists cresting the waves.

Life going on in its own sweet way.

A natural, undisturbed rhythm. Inviting a pause to appreciate the scenes before us.

A constantly changing panorama that shouts out loud, proclaiming glory and a hymn of perpetual praise to our Creator God.

I’ve spent so long this year in cloistered dark, walled up in my own home like a prisoner of circumstances. Kept bound by chronic illness, pain, and permanent, profound fatigue.

Sheltered by hypersensitivity aversion to more than minimal light and noise.

Winter beckons and threatens to entomb me further.

I live more from my inner world more than the outer. And it needs a balance.

We are made to be part of life’s rich tapestry and be set apart for God’s purposes.

To marry the mundane with the miraculous, linger at ordinary and find the extraordinary, give out to others and see grace abounding, scent the seasons shifting and savour the fragrance of Christ in this world.

We were born to live with one foot in the world and the other in God’s kingdom.

One eye on the temporal and temporary and another on the eternal and permanent.

The natural and supernatural worlds interweave as strands in a web; they co-join and coalesce in a cosmic dance.

We are never more fully human and fully alive than when our spiritual senses are attuned and vibrant and our physical senses are alert to the pulse of life around us.

Our lives can feel as web:fragile, holey, gossamer-fine, prone to snagging and snapping, intricately woven yet with power to entangle, strangling potential and promise.

It can be hard to see them whole. We are tripartite beings – soul, spirit and body – all parts that have life of their own and co-exist together, though seldom in perfect harmony.

In trying our best to connect them, seeking to be wholly aware, alert and active in one area as in another, we may be in a place where we see darkly now but clarity and light will eventually come.

I may not have had my feet washed recently or been the recipient of freely given help and kindness from a random stranger showing Christ’s servant-hearted love, but I have had my eyes, soul and spirit washed by grace of a different kind.

There is a hunger deep inside for more.

More of life. More of love. More of grace. More of God.

And even though my life is somewhat limited by having M.E, I want to see through spiritual, emotional and physical eyes, to sense, absorb, capture and record the world around me ~ then paint pictures with my words.

To see life and to see it whole. Then to pass on that gift to others. Wash them with awareness, open eyes and open hearts to be tuned in to God’s love surrounding them.

Regular readers may wonder at the contemplative nature of this post. Though I tend to write that way now and again, it may have sprung from a book I have just read, (‘Gift from the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh), as I firmly believe we are what we read, just as much as we are what we eat. Books impact and influence our lives hugely.
How are you currently being impacted by the wonder of  life and God’s grace through the world around you ~ maybe through books or images?

Please feel free to share in the comments below.
Linking here with Jennifer at #TellHisStory
And with Mel for #EssentialFridays

16 thoughts on “To see life and to see it whole”

  1. Dearest Joy,
    My first comment disappeared into cyberspace.
    I am taking a breather from the marathon first week of NaNo writing.
    'I take a picture and create a memory album for life'. Writing the novel, long forgotten memories flow onto the screen, the narrative taking me everywhere. Pictures and words creating a memory album in the book. Something I did not plan.
    Nietzhe said; 'look too long in the abyss, and the abyss looks into you'. Despite your ME you bring JOY to me and to all your readers. Your refusal to look into the abyss makes you who you are. You may have not been the recipient of kindness recently but you are kind and show kindness.

    1. Dearest Patricia,
      I am sorry about losing your comment. It's so annoying when that happens, isn't it? You sound weary, my friend. NaNo must be draining you. A breather is a welcome necessity to avoid depletion and burnout. As deep-seated emotions arise they demand we face and deal with them. All of which contributes to feeling exhausted. Never mind the energy needed for mental focus and concentration to write. I will be praying for you to be strengthened to stay the course and have inspiration and hope for the futrure coming from revisiting those memories.
      The Nietzche quote is quite profound. An abyss seems to lure us ever closer. It takes a lot of resilience and determination not to fall fast into it.
      If nothing else, life's knocks have given me great determination to press on past them and press into all that God has planned for me. You are perceptive in your assessment of my recent situation. It has been challenging. These things can make us better or bitter. I choose the former and try not to give in to the latter!
      Having been hurt a lot, I also choose to spread kindness, hope and encouragement to others rather than sink into despair and discouragement. God is bringing forth beauty from the ashes of my experiences and that makes me rejoice and be glad.
      Hugs and blessings to you too, my friend. Xx 🙂

  2. I loved Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book too, an attempt to get behind the surface of things, to see what matters, to bridge the gaps within ourselves and between ourselves and others.
    Thank you for this thoughtful post Joy. Hope things go better for you.

    1. Thank you, Trish. I so pleased you've read this amazing book! It's been helping me a lot to seek more balance and times of quiet reflection in my life. It's really vital to our well-being to "see what matters, to bridge the gaps within ourselves and between ourselves and others" as you so aptly put it. Things are starting to lift a little, thanks. It's been a dark and difficult year in many respects but leaning heavily on the Lord has given me great strength, hope, encouragement and insight. Your good wishes are very much appreciated. Blessings 🙂 xx

    1. What a lovely comment. How kind of you, Jennifer! It's a joy and delight to see you here again. Thanks very much for the warm invitation to participate in the community at #TellHisStory. I will do my best to join in! Blessings 🙂 xx

  3. "To marry the mundane with the miraculous, linger at ordinary and find the extraordinary, give out to others and see grace abounding, scent the seasons shifting and savour the fragrance of Christ in this world." Yes! These have been my thoughts, too, this past week.

    (typos in first comment)

    1. Hi Constance. It's good to 'meet' you here.How lovely to hear that God is whispering these thoughts to your heart too! Thank you for visiting and for leaving a sweet comment. Blessings 🙂 x

Your words matter. I'd love to hear from you.