Occasionally, Daddy didn't go on an evening visit, then Nancy, being the oldest, got to sit up front with Mama, while Buddy and I sat in the back seat. Getting to sit by the door was a rare treat for me, but not at night: I was simply terrified. In this decade, in this place, it wasn't unusual for modest family cars to not have heating or a radio. With cold, dark and sometimes silence, those rides seemed interminable. Then I discovered a now and then friend.
As crazy as it sounds, I distinctly recall the first night my new friend appeared in the back seat door window. His face lit up the sky, the road, my hand, and when I looked intently, he even seemed to smile at me. Ever since, I've been enamored by moonlight, especially at its apex. ("Enamored", "apex", I don't know where those words came from. Honestly, I don't talk like that on a regular basis.)
I'm fortunate to have commuting route options. I choose one that combines highway and not. On the first day back to school from Christmas break (may I say that I love being able to say Christmas break instead of winter break?), as I left the highway, I spied my friend teasing me through milky, morning clouds. It was glorious! He darted in and out of treetops, mist and shadows like a child playing hide and go seek.
The non-highway path takes me through a wooded stretch that's lightly littered with debris and roadkill. But my friend called me beyond the refuse of the world to something higher, something better. Instead of dwelling on the loss and less than perfect, he turned my attention to the sublime.
A few years ago, after reading Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life, we read Max Lucado's It's Not About Me. To me, Lucado's book reinforced Warren's basic premise in perhaps a simpler syntax. One of Lucado's admonitions is for us to strive to be "moons and mirrors", to reflect the love of Jesus to those around us, and the focus away from ourselves.
Dear Readers, I am sorry to say that all too often, I find my focus upon the litter and less than perfect. Even worse, there are times when I don't even think to seek the sublime. Am I lazy, or distracted, defeated? Maybe weary, I don't know. I'm thinking about printing off the moon picture to fasten to the dash of my car to remind me to look up. What do you think?
What calls you from roadkill to radiance? What inspires you to reflect grace and hope to the world around you? How can we sustain and expand the realms of our reflections?
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.