A little girl came home from school with a drawing she'd made in class. She danced into the kitchen where her mother was preparing dinner. "Mom, guess what?" She squealed. Her mom never looked up. "What," she said tending to the pots. "Guess what," she said waving around the drawing. "What," she said tending to the plates. "Mom, you're not listening!" "Sweetie, yes I am."
"You're not listening with your eyes!"
After posting that last post about where we see Jesus, I realized that I wasn't very transparent or reflective as to where I actually see Jesus in the world. There are a few different ways to tackle this question. Are we talking about those moments when something lucky happens to us like getting a really good parking space. And we say, that was a sign? I guess for me that kind of victory theology seems a bit shallow and a bit cheesy. What about when the opposite happens, I don't get a parking spot. Does that mean God isn't here, or that God is punishing me?
So, where do I see Jesus? In what ways to I listen with my eyes? What first comes to mind is my children. When I stop and pay attention to their little idiosyncrasies. Like the way Zachariah says with his galumping, dancing, swagger don't worry about what you will eat or drink or wear, life is more than that. Or the way Braden greets me when I come home, Daddy's home! Daddy's home! Or just all the Look at that squirrel! Look at that Bird! Look at that flower! When I listen with my eyes, I begin to realize that my children start to look and sound a lot like Jesus. Their joy and exuberance and awareness remind me and convince me of the wonder and beauty in this world. Look! Look! Look!
Jesus says over and over in the Gospels "verily, verily, I say unto you" (KJV). It's also translated, "I tell you the truth." Some scholars say, we really don't have a good translation. But the essence of what Jesus is really saying is something like Listen up! or Pay attention!
So often it takes me about three or four time of saying "Look!" Or Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! before I listen up, before I pay attention. My kids constantly have to nudge me to see the signs and wonders all around me. I mean is the greater miracle that Jesus turned water into wine, or that God can turn sunlight, dirt, water, seeds into grapes?
Is it any wonder that Jesus says "Let the children come to me." They get it. Then he says, "The Kingdom of God belongs to ones such these (children)." Does that mean the opposite is true? The kingdom of God doesn't naturally open itself and reveal itself to those who are too grown-up? For those who take themselves too seriously? For those who can't be in the moment? Those who can't slow down?
Here's my top ten list of ways I see God (recently)
10. In any act or moment of reconciliation.
9. In unrestrained laughter.
8. Watching hot air balloons soar by.
7. The leaves changing color on the trees.
6. Watching my children play using their imaginations (complete with voices and sound effects)
5. Old people holding hands.
4. Listening to the choir of ordinary people singing to God (especially the wrong notes and hoarse voices)
3. When unlikely people meet together to worship.
2. Holding hands and praying before a meal.
1. A simple smile of recognition between strangers.