He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see –”
Colossians 1:16 (NLT)
The lakefront is a perfect place to write in the early morning. It’s quiet there. An occasional jogger runs by or someone walks with a dog. Sometimes, a tractor rumbles across the beach with a sand rake smoothing the sand and removing driftwood and other debris. But mostly the only sounds are birds singing and seagulls squawking.
This morning, a young couple sat at a picnic table with their backs to the lake. Their conversation interrupted the quiet. I overheard them discussing their relationship, specifically whether they should stay together.
A little girl, four years old maybe, played nearby at the beach’s edge. “Look, Mommy!” I heard her squeal. She pointed toward the water. I looked, and I saw it, too, a tall ship drifting silently to the south bathed in the early morning sunlight. She ran to the picnic table and tugged on her mother’s arm. “Mommy! Come see!”
“Not now, Monique!” her mother scolded. “Daddy and I are talking!” The mother shifted her body on the bench and turned her back to Monique. The little girl plopped down in the grass and watched the ship sail away. I watched it, too. I ached to join her there in the grass and share her excitement of seeing a tall ship sailing on Lake Michigan.
As I sat listening, Monique’s parents decided to get a divorce. Her dad walked away. Her mother stayed at the table, buried her head in her hands and cried. Meanwhile, Little Monique skipped on the sandy beach playing with the gulls, oblivious that her life was about to change.
I remembered a quote by Henry David Thoreau. He said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Oh, what we miss when we turn our backs to the world around us. Tall ships sail unnoticed. Tears fall unobserved. Lives change forever.
Every morning, with each sunrise, God puts the whole world before us to see in a new way. How we see it is a choice. We can rejoice in the tall ships, dry tears with compassion, vow to make life better; or we can turn our backs and let life pass us by.
Psalm 118:4 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Whatever this day holds, we know that it is God’s day. He is working among us while our eyes are closed to what is right in front of us.
Open your eyes to the world this week. Maybe you’ll see life differently.
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