Seeing Our Gifts
Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord. – Isaiah 2:5 (NIV)
This morning, I walked down by the Columbia River and watched a mighty ocean-going ship chugging toward the sea, heavily laden with enormous logs. Having lived my whole life in the shade of big trees, I know intellectually that there are places that need logs enough to transport them all the way across the ocean. But I don’t always remember that trees, which surround me in abundance, are not available everywhere.
We can’t see the forest for the trees, the old saying goes. But I think our problem is really that we can’t see the trees for the forest. In our churches, the enormity of challenges looms so large, it can be hard to see the small gifts that are growing up all around us.
For lots of us, our church building is a forest – a big old building full of rooms that over the years have one by one turned into storage rooms. But what if each of the rooms in your church building was a tree, a gift that is waiting to be seen and noticed as if for the first time? What might you be able to give to the world, if you could see with new eyes the gifts that your congregation has to give?
Holy One, we have what the world needs now: places to gather, faithful people, and, most of all, a vision of possibility, hope and peace. We have all that we need to co-create your realm, but we just forget to recognize it. Open the eyes of our hearts to all that we have to give, so that we might truly walk in your light. Amen.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell is pastor of Vancouver United Church of Christ. Her writing appears in the collection, The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms For the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.