In our world today, there is not often time for peace and quiet. Schedules, priorities, demands and responsibilities make solitude and rest seem unattainable and even antiquated. Work and family pressures close in on us, making escape mandatory. So, we often turn on an easily available screen.
But, taking a few minutes out for yourself by going on a walk or a run (without the headphones), or sitting on a park bench or even your back yard, is a beneficial and even necessary adjustment for one’s well-being. It is great for “defragmenting” and coming to know one’s own mind.
Through silence comes awareness and knowledge. We often don’t know our own minds when other’s voices and opinions drown out own. Sometimes we suppress things we should be dealing with, through distraction. We may even become aware of a knee-jerk reaction towards someone else’s opinion because of our own prejudices regarding an individual or a situation. Various things may come to light.
On the other hand, peace and quiet, a moment of calming greenery, fresh air, a cozy corner with a sleeping pet is re-vitalizing. Breathing a prayer, having a thankful heart, not only on the fly, but taking a moment to ponder can be healing or course-changing.
And for my over-worked friends, those of you who truly don’t have a minute to spare, that is what eyelids are for. Close them on the train, in the passenger seat of the car, even in the ‘necessary’ and remember your beautiful place. Be transported even for a short while. Turn off the noise. Shuttle in the blessed quiet. It takes purposefulness, but it is possible.
So, let’s not neglect ourselves. We have so much to give and people who need us. Let’s give them our “best-selves” and not a half-portion of a frazzled or burned out, expectation-driven, tired or even resentful self. There is a place of beautiful restoration. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. It only takes a moment.
Sometimes I can see it as clear as crystal. There are days I wake up and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt with straight as an arrow accuracy, like it’s shot forth from the sun, aimed true, arriving whole, point on.
… as a mirror,sheer, sharp, angled in a reflective and repeating pattern that goes on into infinity.
Other times it’s shadowed and billowy, like smoke, hiding in the twilight, blurred and hazy.
What is this that I think I know? What is it that rings clear with truth, a pure tone, one note alone?
It is the truth of a humble heart.
For the world clamors with the noise of power and control. It pays its respects to the prosperous and those with clout and prestige, bowing to the mighty. But how have they arrived? By walking upon the the backs of the broken, wounded or needy?
…while quiet servers, builders of beauty, contributors of strength, often go unnoticed.
…the people of substance.
I’m not speaking of the pitifully pious; the stone-hurlers. Far from it. There are those who follow the true spirit of a sandal clad Christ, feeding multitudes, healing the hurting and crying with the wounded.
Nations rage, hands grasp, turmoil surges. Divisions of color, race and creed multiply like the fish of the sea.
But the humble heart is open. The humble heart is love. It is giving and kind, serving and empathetic. It clothes the naked, houses the orphan, helps the single mother with no food on her table. It doesn’t search out the bottom line or interest accrued. It reserves judgement and overlooks faults. It cares for those on the perimeters, regardless of creed, color or identity.
They will be the first to say they are far from perfect, but isn’t that the essence of humility?
There are those who are on my list of heroes, and their names aren’t etched on walls. My heart pushes past the boisterous arrogance of pulpit pounding and self-promotion, leaning in to watch as these men and women wash the dirty feet of neglected children and wipe the tear-stained faces of long-forgotten wards and hollow halls.
Not only are they the nurturers, but they are also the creators. They are those who create light, hope and purpose along the darkened pathway of a world too-often seduced by the covert, or the clamor, or sometimes shallow meanderings.
…And those humble-hearted souls are quietly plying their trade of words, images or ideas – uplifting the world as an air current does a dirigible; steering, guiding, directing the rigid or otherwise rudderless.
So, yeah. The sun is shining brightly today, shooing the clouds away, lighting up the crevices and crannies. It knows what it’s doing.
And I can see all the better for it.
We Love you Paris!
Words cannot express how you must feel today. We cannot walk in your shoes. But we have had our own sorrows, and so we extend our hands and our hearts to you all.
We know who you are. You are joy and expression, effervescence and light. creativity and that indomitable spirit…you, oh City of Lights.
You will mourn for the night, but joy will come again, in the morning.
Prayers, hope, comfort, strength for the day…
Painting, graphics, words, Sherrie Robins.
* We’ve started a new blog called perspectivesinfaith! Thought you’d like to know. If you enjoy a good old heart-warming, up-lifting, soul-nurturing, read, please take a look. We’d appreciate your feedback. Thanks! Here’s a sample:
Overwhelmed by Glory
Have you ever seen such beauty that you were overwhelmed?
I love the word Gobsmacked! It’s ‘wicked-good’! The definition, according to Dictionary.com is: utterly astounded, astonished, flabbergasted. They go on to say that the word origin is:+
I had that experience today, while driving down the Niagara escarpment, towards Lake Ontario. The vista on any ordinary day is spectacular. But, in the fall, on a clear day, it is especially beautiful with a full on view of the colorful foliage, the Niagara River and Lake beyond.
But today was a one-in-a-million kind of day. The sky was dancing, alight and aloft. On my right were dark clouds, ominous and foreboding, having a look of doom about them. To the left it was clear and vivid blue, checkered with colossal, billowy clouds.
An ‘ooh’ or an ‘ah’ will often escape me, while taking all this in. But today was that one-in-a-million. If my hands had been free, I would have been gob-smacking all over my face!
The sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds, streaks of light streamed down on any given destination. Birds of prey soared high above the earth, glints of sunshine bouncing off their wings. And as if all that weren’t enough, a rainbow appeared before me; a complete arch, weaving in and out of the doom and gloom clouds, to the right.
My gob-smacked mouth started rejoicing and shouting and tears escaped their borders. And then it hit me that we’d just flown right past beauty and over into glory! One of the definitions of beauty is something that pleases the aesthetic senses. But my favorite definition of glory, according to Merriam-Webster goes like this: worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving.
So that’s what I was doing! Natural, spontaneous, and full of hope for a future filled with those one-in-a-millions! Forever being overwhelmed by glory.