I find myself reminiscing tonight about the view I left behind in the kitchen of our old house back in the U.S. What a peaceful view that was! An expanse of green lawn dotted with tall pine trees, a bench in the shade framed with honeysuckle vines, and just behind it, the woods filled with chirping birds and wind-ruffled leaves turning November gold, falling in crackling beauty on the pine needle beds below.
As I form the meatballs I'm making for our dinner, I glance with a sigh out of my kitchen window to a view of an ugly little courtyard. The dirty white walls topped with iron bars are laced with barbed wire, and for just a moment I feel as if I've been imprisoned here in this place.
A tiny bit of sky is visible through the over-hanging roof lines, right at the spot where three dwellings intersect. To the left, our roof; to the right Miss G's roof - our new backdoor neighbor and co-worker. And just over the concrete fence, straight ahead, our 'M-cousin's' roof.
Suddenly the sun begins its setting, and all light shifts into a miraculous glow of vibrant oranges and pinks and purples. I raise my eyes to the miracle; I look up to that tiny bit of sky. Where else to find real beauty but up? I have a view, after all, that rivets my gaze toward glory, toward Him!
|photo by Elise|
All too soon the magnificent colors fade, the sky begins to darken, and I hear our 'cousin' beyond the wall begin his ritual evening prayer-song; that prayer to another god, and then I know.
I know that I am not imprisoned in this place. I only live next door to prisoners of a lie, a yard from a prison's gate. I get to be up close here, strategically located to share good news that will set captives free. Good news that will turn eyes upward, to the real view, to the glories of the goodness of the true and living God!
...we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
Is it worth having given up the lovely grass and shade and wind-tossed woods?
But of course.
If I keep looking up.
What has God used to remind you to focus upward today?