A good friend of mine has introduced me to an entirely new world. It’s not a world that didn’t exist; a world that was, at least for me, not fully observable to my limited gaze. When, in fact, it was right under my nose, to begin with, all along, and I had just never come to slow down and see it as clearly as she was noticing it.
The friend of whom I speak is also my colleague, Pastor Gretchen. As many of you might already know she has a healthy (debatable) obsession with sea anemones and various other sea creatures. Frankly, when I see her posts on Facebook and Instagram of these intricate, delicate life forms beneath the sea I am mesmerized. Her videos and pics increase the visibility of these environments with such vivid clarity that it renews and focuses my attention to other-worldly type existence in new ways.
From the thick-horned nudibranch to the sea lemon to the sea star to the dancing communities of jellyfish. Wow! Just, wow! Who knew these existed? And all along, when I’ve walked along the piers and shores of Puget Sound, I most often have neglected this most beautiful part of God’s creation teaming about me.
This reminds me of what Jesus does for us in his resurrection, and through the road to Emmaus story of Luke. Jesus helps people in this world to recognize what otherwise appears to us as familiar and ordinary, but, upon further and closer examination, is an entire other-worldly perspective that lives and moves and breathes on its terms, and in parallel with our existing lives.
The thing with slowing down to see things anew is that most often it is an interruption to our normal gaze of things. This interruption isn’t about the big picture, but rather the smaller and more nuanced, micro-picture. In that smaller gaze, I am brought into a world of amazement and delicate balance of how much lifeforms inhabit and interact with their environments so different than mine.
Could it be that the Kin-dom of God, Jesus being raised from the dead, gives us a completely new way of seeing the world, and how it is that God is moving through it? Could it be that the resurrection and our growing recognition of its presence and movement in our lives produce a different quality of existence for ourselves?
Creation always mediated the divine as we know in the person of Jesus. Jesus helps us to look more closely around us and with greater willingness to see things that at first, we either can’t or don’t see; to be more open to the possibilities of life and ways of functioning life all around us than we normally are conditioned to see.
It is no wonder that Jesus was constantly encouraging his disciples with the words, “Let those with ears to hear, listen.”
Sensing beyond our familiarity is both the invitation to join God in God’s currents of daily Life, and to participate with a greater sense of awe and appreciation that it is truly God who is creating something new all around us.
Go in peace and see something new! Thanks be to God.