“Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love.” – Julian of Norwich
Am I seeing? Am I noticing the presence of the Divine in the person in front of me? Or is she just an object that’s sharing the same space with me? Is he just an obstacle in the way of what I want? Are they too different from me for me to see God in them? Is she just there for me to use? Is he just there to do something for me?
Or am I seeing the same light in her eyes that makes me catch my breath at a sunset? Am I noticing the same warming presence in him that makes me linger by the campfire? Are my eyes open to truth? Am I seeing?
Am I contemplating? Am I taking time to stop and examine in stillness, or am I noticing and moving on? Am I holding my gaze steady at the curve of her neck, memorizing its lines, and asking them to tell me their secrets? Am I taking in her story and letting it become a part of me as I sit with it? Am I clearing my schedule for an hour to be in conversation with him, communing with who he is and what he shows me about the universe? Do I stop at acknowledging that they, too, are made in the image of God, or do I engage in the complexities of their experience, letting myself be changed by our differences? Am I wise enough to slow down and fix my gaze on the world around me like the work of art it is?
Am I delighting? If I’ve done the first two, I probably am. If I have truly seen and contemplated, awe and wonder and delight are the products of that alchemy. My heart spins and dances at all that is contained in his smile – the sadness and the joy and the perseverance and the relief that it holds. I feel the endorphins flood my brain as I savor the words she spoke… yes, they were hard to hear, but they were true and full of the juice of life, of spirit, of THIS. I am energized and excited to work for their good as I soak in the beauty and injustice of their history.
And with that – all is love. And all is love. And all manner of things is love.