Jul 12 2009

Trying To Be There

blackberriesOne of the books I am reading right now is a novel by Barbara Kingsolver called Prodigal Summer.  The natural world plays a prominent role in this book, as it  does in most of Kingsolver’s works.  In one chapter she talks about moths and how some creatures are never even seen by humans.  She then writes, “So much detail goes unnoticed in the world.”

There can be no denying that we all miss out on “so much detail” in our everyday world.  Perhaps we move through the day too fast or stressed out to notice.  Maybe we just don’t care.  As Christians we should strive to be more observant because the God we worship is “in the details.”  The Creator has made the world so that we might experience Him in not just the big things but in the little things too.  The key is learning to pay attention.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes, the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”  It is my fear that there are a lot of us who are missing out on some wonderful things because we are not truly seeing what is going on around us; we are not paying attention.  Instead of taking notice of God’s splendor and glory in Creation we sit around and “pluck blackberries.”

In one of my favorite books, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard notes that in nature “beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them.”  She then adds, “The least we can do is try to be there.”  Yes, it would seem that is the least we can do.  It might not be a bad idea to begin each day by praying the opening words of the hymn: “Open my eyes that I might see, glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.”  It would be a good start…

–Chuck Summers

p.s. Rob wants everyone to know that it’s still o.k. to pick and eat blackberries!