Yesterday, at a friend’s place, we all gathered around to listen to some beautiful (and original!) music…played by our own friends, in front of us, LIVE! It was pretty amazing, not only because they are all incredibly talented, but more so because when they played I experienced a certain inward peace. I don’t think this feeling came from their voices or their instruments. Instead it came as a wave of realization as it became clear to me that we really to all have a purpose, a niche, a place. I tried to make this thought into a tangible metaphor–we’re all a distinct puzzle piece, or we all have gifts (spiritual and otherwise)– but my metaphors seemed to water down my thought. I think this was because I don’t think that it has to be something you can do or something you have to be amazing at. What I think I was experiencing, and in this case, watching, were my friends in moments of my friends humbly letting God show through them. In their beautiful voices were glimpses of the divine. Glimpses of things the way that they are supposed to be.
I am not sure that there can be anything more beautiful than that.
It dawned on me that these moments of holiness seen through the actions and words of those around me are more prevalent than I realize. For example, my friend Steph is really good at speaking so highly of others, of her friends, family etc–but when she tells me these things, I never feel inferior or like she’s trying to make me feel any less valuable. In fact, it’s the opposite, I feel really valued.
Or when Matt recently received a really heart-touching letter from a client who had been able to find a job with his help. The letter was incredible and as I read it I could literally feel how big it made Matt’s heart swell. I could feel how proud he was. But the key, and what made the moment so holy, was that Matt’s pride was rooted the joy that he’d been a part of helping someone better their life. He wasn’t showing it to me to make himself look amazing or like a hero. It was a holy moment and he had done exactly what was right. He showed me a glimpse of how things are supposed to be.
Steve has a blog where he irregularly posts incredible thoughts. He is brilliant. But I get the same warm feeling reading his words. I know that his intention is to give glory to God, in all things. And his words are extra beautiful because of that.
We were talking about intention in the car on the way up north the other day and questioning if it mattered. I wasn’t sure at the time, but I am sure now. Because in all of the examples I have given you above, the intention of the person was of the utmost importance. It was in their honourable intention that made them so translucent, and therefore so easy to see the hand of God at work. Their “stepping out of the way” made it really easy for me to see what God looks like.
My 10 in 2010 is a list of (in some ways, silly) things that I hope to accomplish in 2010. But I think that having pure and loving intentions in my words and actions (in addition to my life-long 2009 goals) is a really good concept to be mindful of this year. When I am talking to someone, am I simply trying to make myself sound smart? Cool? Well liked? Better than them?
This year (and forevermore) I want to step out of the way so that the people I interact with can (hopefully!) see God at work. I know that part of that means that I need to question my intentions and only act when I am intending to bring some good stuff into the world- like love, joy, patience, peace, kindness and self control.
There are so many people in my life who give me glimpses of redemption and a new way of living without even knowing it.