Tag Archives: seeing

On seeing the risen Christ

You may be familiar with the drawing depicting both a young woman and an old woman at once. Several versions are circulating. If you look at it and see a young woman, it can be very difficult to see the old woman, and if you see an old woman, it can be next to impossible […]

Blessed to be a blessing

To be filled, we need to be empty: Clay gives shape to a bowl, but it’s the emptiness within that makes it useful. To speak, we first need to be silent: “He who does not understand your silence,” Elbert Hubbard said, “will probably not understand your words.” To gain wisdom, we need to live with […]

Come and see

“Come and see,” Jesus said to those would-be followers who wanted to know where he was staying, and they came and saw, or so the story goes (John 1:39). But often seeing is not as easy as that. I can look and look at what is obvious to someone else and not see a thing. […]

Then and now

Look at a piece of coal, and what do you see? Merely a piece of coal, a bit of fuel for grilling burgers? Or do you see the plants and processes that made that coal? Do you see fire to forge a plow; and the crops that will follow in season; and the families those […]

For once, then, something

National Poetry Month, Day 12  //  Noticing God’s grandeur is always sure to bowl me over, but honestly the experience of it has been rare. Mostly what I see is God’s ordinariness, nothing like the “shining from shook foil” that George Manley Hopkins describes in “God’s Grandeur.” Annie Dillard writes that nature “conceals with a […]

There lives the dearest freshness

National Poetry Month, Day 11  //  We’re well into spring here in Western New York. Even the occasional snow that falls – it has now retreated to the higher elevations – may protest but can’t forestall the shift of seasons. Morning birdsong entering through slightly open bedroom windows is as likely to awaken us as […]

These rude feet

National Poetry Month, Day 5  //  When I was a child, finding a penny was a real treat, more so a nickel or dime. A quarter would make my day, buying me a seat for Saturday afternoon’s double feature with enough left over for a soda or a box of Milk Duds. I think of […]

Time to stand and stare

National Poetry Month, Day 4  //  For too long I lived by the Red Queen’s advice to Alice: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that” (Lewis Carroll, […]

Like the iris

The iris are coming soon, my friend observed as he posted a photo of their long green spikes and barely opened buds of deep blue. Soon those buds will be in full display, glorious signs of the season. But his anticipation is wrongly placed. The iris, these silent teachers, are not coming soon; they already […]

Time for stillness

“Be still,” we’re invited. And the fruit of stillness – genuine stillness, not the interstitial pause between the many agenda that claim our attention – will be an experiential knowledge of the Something Deeper that dwells in stillness, the something we call “God” (Psalm 46:10). Being still requires a lot of slowing down, for me, […]