Your Complete Attention
“Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things…” – Psalm 119: 18
My husband Jeff’s electric wheelchair is fascinating to the same kind of kids who are fascinated by fire trucks and backhoes. We recently encountered a curious four year old boy at our son’s martial arts studio who was completely rapt as he stared at Jeff. Buttons! Lights! Wheels! His eyes were huge with wonder, desire and maybe a little bit of fear and you could almost see his brain trying to figure out if this was a man, a machine or a little of both.
When was the last time God had your complete attention? When was the last time your eyes were huge with wonder, with desire, maybe a little bit of that fear that feels like awe? Did all the Divine stops get pulled out? An orange and red sunset over a snow-covered mountain? A breathtaking musical performance? The closing moments of prayer at a soul-changing retreat? Or maybe it was something smaller. A child’s trusting hand slipped into yours. A moment of laughter over a shared meal. A line of poetry just when you needed it.
The attention of adoring preschoolers aside, Jeff’s fondest wish is that he could blend into a crowd. But as a wheelchair user in a walking world, he’s impossible to miss in most any setting. God, on the other hand, would love to be noticed and is always jumping and up down, waving those holy arms in the air and shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” All we have to do is open our eyes.
Open my eyes. Fill me with the wonder, desire and awe of the knowledge of your constant presence. Amen.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell is the Senior Pastor at Hillsdale Community Church – United Church of Christ in Portland, OR and the author of the just published, Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath.