I heard your call, early in the morning. I slipped out, past my snoring cabin mates and I went… out to the stillness. Out to the lake. Out to You. And there I settled, wrapped in my blanket, looking out at the lake stretching before me. Dark Lake, Camp Tamarack – where magic happens for my 5th graders every year. But with a sigh, I sat there wondering…
Could magic happen for me?
“Jesus, I’m here. … will you talk with me?”
So I stopped talking. Stopped thinking. Stopped trying so stinkin’ hard
and I hit “Pause.”
Pause on my thoughts.
Pause, to take a breath of the cool air.
Pause, … To feel the morning sun. To smell the spiciness of yesterday’s rain on the hillside.
To listen for nothing and everything…
Before my eyes, life was living out its day.
Water masquerading as a looking-glass.
Song birds singing.
Wind playing tag among the trees.
Sun streaming through branches, dousing the rain speckled foliage.
Peace settling into the quiet like the morning mist rising with sun’s touch.
… and yet there stood the burnt trees,
– stark haunting gravestones –
peppering the hillside with Loneliness.
And then His whisper, “What do you see, Sweetheart’?”
“I see a lake that was once beautiful. I see all the hope and potential of what it could have been, but look at it now… the fire marred its beauty. It’s scarred and ugly now. I know it’s supposed to still be beautiful, but all I see is tragic, ugly and sad.
And so I paused again. But this time I pushed “STOP” on seeing all the up-in-your-face scars and I looked closer,
and just beyond the scarred matchsticks…
– hidden trees that survived-
Not easy to see.
Tucked behind the death and destruction of the fire, reaching up to the heavens their crowns rose above the flames. Some stripped of branches, some fully protected in the shadow of others… some just starting – doused now in the light of the sun – hidden in the shadows no more. Looking, searching, willing my eyes to see more, pretty soon they began just popping into view…
I could see them everywhere now.
How strong they were to witness such devastation around them. How courageous to stand among the flames and simply hope. How beautiful and proud, to hold their heads so high – peek-a-booing behind such a glaring scar… defying death, with their relentless pursuit of life.
Could it be, Jane, that you could switch your perspective? Could it be that you could look beyond the all “in-your-face” destruction of this world and let your heart be captivated by the hidden beauty growing relentlessly in the midst of it all? Could it be that sometimes Life is stripped of the here and now, to give peek-a-boos into the beyond?
And could it be, in time, you might come to see the scar as beautiful too?
I quietly let it all soak in and Peace wrapped a blanket around my shoulders as I waited for sun’s rays to warm the last chill from my heart.
A song bird sang out strong in the distance, and all the “hidden” green splashed neon bright with light’s touch – a new day had once again found the surrounding hills.
A gentle whisper I couldn’t quite make out, murmured into a cool morning breeze… ruffling the flashes of diamonds on this once Dark Lake.
I saw… for the first time in such a long, long time
and I saw Truth
and I saw Hope
… a fire – once such a devastation –
had opened up the sky
and let in Light.