“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common
bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, the rest
sit round it and pluck blackberries, and
daub their faces unaware.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Hello to all from Florida. It’s warm and sort of nice down here, but it never ceases to amaze me that whether you are- North, South, East,or West, the most valuable part of your surroundings is your perception. It is the power to see God wherever you are. It transforms everything. Recognizing God’s omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent nature is not only comforting, but necessary for our spiritual survival. The awareness of God’s presence in our immediate environment takes the edge off darkness, elevates the mundane, and harmonizes our spirits. You can take this perception wherever you go –it is transportable.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church is hosting a Visio Divina Art show this spring. If all goes as planned, it will introduce to us the practice of seeing beyond what is on the page. Meditating on the visual graphics to find fresh, spiritual meaning adds a dimension that nourishes the soul and renews the mind. I am ready and eager to experience this wholeness since I have often been frustrated by only seeing parts of the truth—I keep looking for more—more truth, more parts.
One of my favorite foreign films is a 1950 Japanese movie, Roshomon directed by Akira Kurosawa. He uses a technique that presents one incident but one that has four very different, self-serving interpretations. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then, shall I know even as also I am known.” This is the inspiration for my poem.
Only the part and the partial are known.
It’s like looking through a peephole in a wooden fence.
It’s like hearing raised voices through a floor vent.
It’s like peeking through a keyhole.
I scrutinize, try to remember, discern
But it’s only p pa par part s.
We search and wait for something fuller, clearer.
We wait long.
Death complete. We learn hearts.
As we enter the Lenten season, it is my prayer that all of us will gain greater awareness and understanding of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Kathryn Den Houter, Ph.D.