Pay attention

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“Instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.”

No life is perfect. Hard things and hard hearts are too easily found. I once was a child dreaming of adulthood and all of the freedom I imagined it to be. I’ve heard “They don’t tell you how hard it will be.”; but I don’t think that’s true. They told us. Through tired eyes and desperate, frustrated voices- they told us. In foolhardy optimism-we just didn’t believe them. I still see so many trying to find the way to articulate it. Trying to find the balance of voicing truth and saving face. I think our pride keeps us from vulnerability. Or is it really fear? Judgement comes from all sides. We steam in paranoia because we live in a fishbowl age. And everyone has an opinion about the life you’re living. You live with an audience. But life is so much more. Turn down the volume of an angry world. Raise the drawbridge.

When I think of myself as a child, in a December of the past; I can see the blur of festive lights. I can feel a chill in the house. I hear the music that made all seem safe. I remember semi-waking from sleep, lifted up, and floating down the hall. For a moment, I would recognize that I had unsuccessfully battled the night. Then I would quickly blink away the worry. I could rest. I was being carried.

Carried still, in arms eternal; I release and rest. We are not free from work or worry. But a few nights ago, I walked home hand in hand under a dark sky with one who loves me, after sharing a meal and a laugh. And each step nailed up the memory. Scarcely a day ago, rain washed us clean and cool air revived us. I held my children and truth taught us. Within the last few days there has been: a birthday celebrated, tree decorated, champagne poured, soup stirred, seeds sown, coffee brewed, chicken roasted, a baby kissed and stories read.

Don’t miss anything. The things that once marked joy can be found now too. Don’t let it be lost or overlooked.

Today, a little boy ran outside brimming with joy – just to breathe fresh air and touch the soil. And I think of a line from a page: “‘Wherever you are, be all there’ is only possible in the posture of eucharisteo.”