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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Letting our Senses Come Alive

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.  Is 29: 17-18

The prophecy of Isaiah is wonderfully visual.  Reminding us that all creation "lives" in God, the prophet invites us to imagine orchards becoming forests, and the eyes of the blind being opened to see God's glory in all creation. God's love, Isaiah suggests, is so immediate and so full that one can taste it, smell it, hear and touch it. Working hard to help his sisters and brothers in exile not lose hope, Isaiah reminds them to focus on the simplest of God's gifts, their own senses, as a pathway to renewed life in the Spirit.

Unfortunately, in a society so glutted with visual images, we sometimes fail to appreciate the fullness of God's presence all around us and, in the name of love and self giving, often make our lives more obsessive, more hurried and much less human. While I realize that I am one of the fortunate few who is not compelled to buy dozens of gifts, nevertheless, it saddens me to think that the frenzy and rushing of preparing for Christmas can steal the most precious moments of the church year and strip us our ability to see beyond the physical.

What would it be like, for instance, to take one minute each day to pause and picture the person for whom you are buying something happy, content, and faith filled.  It is not a difficult exercise, but if we gave members of our family an inexpensive gift and a brief note telling them how we prayed for them each day during Advent, they might treasure the note much more than the gift.

Today, think simply.  Live simply. Imagine beauty.

What happens to your faith life when you let set your imagination free to praise God and serve others?


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