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Braced for Beauty (A Meditation)

How much of your glory do I miss each day? If you told me, I‘m afraid it would be too much to bear. Some days you are so convincing and visceral, when it seems creation worships in unison or when strained relationships are mended. Some days you’re obvious to me in fresh peaches and constellations and strangers’ faces.

But there are other days.

Days when my spiritual amnesia blocks blessing, when I don’t look for your fingerprints, and my attention returns to self, like a reflex. I’m beginning to realize that seeing your hand in this small life of mine has very little to do with my vision and everything to do with my imagination – a learned certainty of what is unseen. Maybe closing my eyes will remind me to rely less on them. Or maybe you would open my eyes wide enough to take in more?

I want to see you and trust you, and yet I’m the one with so much to say and request. I ask for wisdom and don’t wait for it. I beg for healing and refuse to loosen fear’s grip. I petition for change and grumble in the meantime. I am so distracted by my world that I wonder if my self-focus will ultimately paralyze me. I can’t see the forest for the trees, and I can’t see you for me. I rephrase the father’s plea of faith in Mark 9 – I do see you; heal my blindness! Simultaneously assured and grasping for assurance, I will carry both, one in each hand, until I can set down the heavier load. The one weighted down by insecurity and distrust and the illusion of control. The one that threatens my contentment and plants seeds of disappointment. I will set it down, again and again if I have to, until we bury it for good. Now, how?

The memory of your undeniable glory must fuel those other days when faith is not by sight. My own God-memories must take hold of clouded moments and bear witness to your goodness and trustworthiness. I recite the truth of who you are and all you’ve done. On glorious, sunny days it’s easy. But on dark, ominous days I offer praise as a sacrifice to you. For you are always good, but I am often forgetful.

I want to live in a state of readiness, braced for your beauty. I want to be moved by the mere thought of you and susceptible to your voice. Show me the glory in painful moments, in devastating news, in profound regret. Show me You.


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