Today the clouds have settled over the hills like a hen on her nest. Rain and cold heal the sun-blistered earth. In the broody gray landscape splashes of yellow flowers and the slippery sheen of a naked buck rail fence light my heart. “Look through my eyes and see your world as I see it,” I say to God as we drive along the reservoir. “Here it is. Thank you for all this beauty.”
A single boat cuts the dark waters, the gash trailing white and foamy behind it. Overhead some large black bird glides, flaps twice, glides again. I imagine it cuts the air like the boat cuts the water. I wonder if it is hunting.
When we get home I see that In my front yard drops of rain have collected in the spider webs among the juniper bushes. I imagine that many of the artists of these thin, silver nets are my transplants. For years I have been, as Rosean calls it, “taking spiders for a walk”. I move them from the walls and floors and sink-rims of the house and out into the junipers. I imagine them finding new life among green things and fresh air, liberated from the dark, dusty, hidden places indoors, where they are always having to scurry and hide. “These wondrous creatures,” I say to God, “with their many-jointed, eight legs and their funny exoskeletons, have created a breathtaking work of art here in my front yard. Look through my eyes! Look at them go! Here is their handiwork as I see it. Thank you for each one of them.”
“And thank you for my eyes,” I might add, “through which you can see your creation. And for the breath in my lungs and the beating of my heart. Thank you that I have enough, so that I can look and enjoy. Thank you.”
When I really notice the world so that God can notice it, too, from my particular perspective, I feel like I am doing what I was created to do. In this moment I am the silver coin plucked from her hiding place and clutched in the warm fist of the Creator, valuable and worthy.
It is easy to try to stay hidden in the dark corners of the Creator’s room. I get caught up in greed, in anger, and in all the other ego states that keep me from the practice of the presence of God. Like my spiders, I scurry off under the sink or into the crawl space, never guessing that the food I find in these places is not the complete nourishment of relationship with God in God’s loving embrace. Repentance takes humility – openness – the ability to ask for forgiveness and then let things go.
God clutches me like the precious coin I am, triumphant in having found me. And in my spidery anxiety I struggle and thrash around, frantic until I begin to sense that I am all right – until I begin to relax into being held. Then, with a jolt, I might realize I am found. I might understand that I can let go. I might find myself gazing. And being thankful. And praising.
So it is that I come back to myself, to my truest nature. And so it is that God rejoices with the angels on my behalf.