Look around you

When I was in Nepal, 9 years ago, a friend would ask us a question almost every night as we drifted off to sleep –

“What did you see that was beautiful today?”

At first it was difficult to answer. Yet as I began to anticipate the question, I began to become aware of life going on around me – to have eyes that actively searched for beauty, even in the midst of darkness and pain.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is such an important thing to be reminded of.

Today, beauty was in the children jumping over the flower beds with varying degrees of success. The youngest running down the asphalt-paved slope, skipping over cracks and lines… stopping to wave at a lady walking her dog down the sidewalk… The others jumping again and again and again, in perfect illustration of God’s joy and exultation in creation, in life –

“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again,” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again,” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

~ G.K. Chesterton ~ Orthodoxy

“Do it again.” A child lives in the now – it doesn’t matter that you’ve swung them around for half an hour and are so dizzy you could fall over. “Do it again. One more time.” I want that ability to live here, now, in the present, so fully and completely that I am able to taste with every breath the reality of our God-drenched world, dizzy and drunk on this eternal life that lives within us now, in the midst of pain and sorrow, despite tears and brokenness, finding hope in every circumstance…

“Do it again, Abba…  Do it again…”

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2 Comments

Filed under beauty, life

2 responses to “Look around you

  1. Ben, this is absolutely beautiful. I almost cried as I read it…I think we mourn the loss of our ability to have a childlike exuberance. But, like you said, maybe it’s not always lost….

  2. Ben

    not as long as we keep looking for it… =)

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