Friday, February 25, 2011

See Me Beautiful

I don't normally post songs here, especially ones I've written. I pray you'll take the rare opportunity and listen. (I have posted this song and another in the side bar as well for a time)

See me Beautiful Musicians Available

Because don't we all want to be seen beautiful, treasured, worthwhile and important? And even more than that, we hope that it's seen in us just as we are right now - no matter how messed up, ugly, selfish or flawed we may be. If one person in our lives can see through all that and simply say, "I see you beautiful" we can be filled with hope. In time we can look in our own mirrors and start to see that same beautiful. On the inside and the outside.

The best part is that God always sees into the beautiful. He uses even what we see as stains and scars to create 'his workmanship,' his work of art. Sometimes we look at a piece of art and it's not the prettiest picture. Some might even call it dark or ugly, but what your eyes see and your heart feels might be different... your heart tells you there is beauty in the dark, the sad, the pain of the painting, just as there is in a life. In your life. In my life.

Hear a heart's cry.... see me beautiful

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taking Time to Really See?

It’s been awhile since I had an epiphany sitting at a red light. There was a time I had them all the time, perhaps because it was back then it was the only time I was still and focused long enough to hear or see. But driving home from work tonight, I had one.

I had intended on going to the gym after work, but due to being stiff from the night before and super tired decided I would take the night off. If I hadn’t –if I had been focused on racing to the gym perhaps I would have missed it, even if I had been sitting at the same red light.

The sky was a solid steel wool gray and in winter irony the tree stood completely exposed. It was a large tree, with a trunk that split into two several feet up. Those trunks flourished into several smaller looking trees of branches. All exposed. Dulled white against the static sky. It looked strong, unwavering. I had turned my head and briefly glanced at the tree before retuning my gaze to the traffic signal and the brake lights of the car ahead of me. For some reason, I was drawn back to the tree and stared at the upper branches. They were still…

No. Wait. They were swaying in the wind. There was movement. I looked again. Like an optical illusion depending on how you looked the branches could be seen as moving or still.

The light turned green and I drove on towards home. But the image of the tree stuck with me and I began to think. How often do we look at people around us, and see them as strong and unmoving even when they have been laid bare by life’s circumstances? Pillars of faith – the kind we struggle to find even in less soul-bearing situations. But I wonder…if we took time to look a little longer, a littler further in… ask a few more questions….offer a little longer hug, would we see the sway? Might we see the wavering emotions and the constant battle to fight the harsh cold winds? And just might we feel a little more human? A little more connected? And while we can’t erase someone’s hurt or pain anymore than we can stop the wind from blowing in the trees, perhaps we can offer a moment’s reprieve with a simple acknowledgement of “I see you and those wind-blown places are important to me. I’ve been there too.”

Maybe it’s your branches that are bent and battered. This is me asking how your heart really is. This is me letting you know that I see you and I’ve been there.

And like seasons always do – they change. The harsh blasts of winter fade. Soon, spring will come with new life and leaves and warm gentle breezes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Birds

This tree is outside my window and for the last couple weeks has been frequented by birds, primarely these beautiful bluebirds. And since blue IS my favorite color I am drawn to these birds each time I notice them. Today, the tree was full of birds - bluebirds, robins and chickadees...

Can a bird be adorable?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feeling Lost in a Familiar Place

Have you ever driven on auto-pilot? On a route you've taken so many times, you simply tune out the scenery around you? It's so familiar, there is no need to pay attention. Then for one reason or another you become aware again. You see the same sights that have always been there but for a moment you have no idea where you are. It's as if you've never seen them before. You wonder if somehow you got off course, but then you see the street signs or another landmark and they assure you that you are still on the right road. But for that one drawn out moment, you felt lost in a familiar place.

We can feel that way in our lives too. Going along day after day and it doesn't seem like the scenery changes all that much. Get up, go to work, come home or whatever your routine may be. We are in danger of tuning out. Tuning out others, tuning out our own thoughts and emotions, the voice of God, until something awakens us. We may look around and feel like we have no idea where we are, that perhaps somehow we got off course. Then just ahead we see the signs that remind us we are still in God's hands and He has everything under his control.

This week I have been feeling lost in such a familiar place. Nothing on the outside has changed for such a long time I feel like I have covered every square inch of the map mutliple times. A simple question caused me to look up. It made me dizzy and disoriented, not quite sure of my bearings or how I got here. But as always God is faithful and He continues to meet me in this place. Continues to point to the signs that reveal His truth to me to give me direction for the next leg of the journey and assure me that I have not left His path.

There are times I get frustrated that the scenery isn't changing. I think I should be in another state by now instead of driving back and forth along this two-lane country road on my own. And contentment starts to blur with lack of joy and before I know it, I am simply feeding off the scraps of other people's happiness and it only serves to remind me of my own hunger. I must learn to trust for my own manna.

I want to travel well and appreciate all the people and opportunities God gives. Perhaps what was barren for years, tomorrow will have bloomed. In order to see it, I have to be looking. Looking is just hope.


Are you looking or are you lost?

Look for the sign of hope and you'll know right where you are.