My drive home this evening on the DC beltway turned out to be the most holy moment in my day–which is nothing short of a miracle if you know anything of DC traffic. I found myself transfixed as a hush fell over my car; both kids fell asleep almost on-command.Early in the drive, I put on Christmas music and asked the kids (ok, more like ordered them) to be quiet– we’d had a very busy day and needed to be quiet. We spent the morning opening Christmas gifts, delivered early by Santa, followed by a last minute decision to join friends for their Christmas pageant in the afternoon. The kids played roles in an informal telling of the Christmas story. As I listened to my favorite Christmas CD, my mind wandered. When I emerged from my peaceful stupor, I realized that I didn’t feel rushed or irritated by the traffic. I hadn’t changed lanes; I hadn’t felt the usual agitation that one can feel when, on none other than a Saturday night, there are no breaks from traffic in DC.
While at my friend’s church this afternoon, more than once I scooped my 4-year-old son up in my arms to step away from the commotion. I whispered in his ear a warning, seeing that his capacity to take much more in without going just a wee bit berserk was waning. In those moments when I don’t feel like I’m heard, much less listened to, I employ the four words I learned in my Montessori camp counseling experience, “look at my eyes.”
Under the influence of God’s peace, I drove home this evening thinking about how easy it is to be sucked into the vortex of meaningless suffering, of the endless why, and the incomprehensible evil that befalls so many on this earth. We ask why; we question; we doubt; yet there is God, urging us . . . . look at my eyes.
Life is sure to disappoint. We are sure to disappoint others. We can so easily be consumed by the hurt we feel at the ignorance of someone’s words or mired in self doubt and self pity. It’s hard to consider the past year without being reminded of all the places that God did not seem to show up. Into those places, in the face of bewildering circumstances, I know no other words to speak than, “Come, Lord, Jesus.”
Yet, God is there–and here–reminding us . . .
Look at my eyes.
In whose eyes do you see peace? Whose heart embodies hope in your life? Whom do you know is a reflection of love and joy?
And in those moments when we are bewildered by the inevitable hardships that we both see and experience, keep looking there, for those are the eyes of God.
**Originally posted in December, 2013**