There is one thing wrong with the spiffy camera Dean bought me for my birthday a few years ago: it does not have manual focus. Instead of highlighting the wonderfully ripe cherry above, the all-knowing camera believed that the disturbed snow on my deck was a much more interesting subject.
Today, I also feel sightly out of focus and wish there was a handy manual setting to realign things in their proper perspective. Perhaps it was the trek outside to wrangle some windblown trellis out from under my deck that resulted in cracking my head on a wooden beam and then breaking one of the trelli (I am almost certain that is the plural form of trellis and if it isn't, it should be), or the fact that Tea was convinced that she needed a second feeding and meowed in my ear for an hour this morning interrupting my 8 hour sabbatical, or the detour on the way to the bank that sent me driving through winding residential roads without cause (at least in my opinion), or any number of tiny things that just did not go well today. Somewhere along the way I set my patience adrift and chose annoyance and criticism as the motivational force for my life on this particular January day. Bad choice.
I was reading one of my fellow blogger's posts today in which someone chastised him for being too critical of the church. Are there glaring wrongs and errors in the church? Of course. Should we shy away from pointing them out? Not really, for how will things change unless we admit there is something desperately wrong? But I also understand this reader's comment. While I love this blogging man and his daring honesty, sometimes I think his focus, like mine, is just a bit off. The beautiful bride of Christ is before us (in fact, IS us) in all her imperfect and underdeveloped glory, but she is glorious all the same because Jesus chooses to imbue her with his love and stand with her and shine on her. If I lose sight of that glory at any time, I become the most cutting and critical cynic, pointing out so many flaws that hope starts to wilt in even the most buoyant souls. It is not a question of being truthful or honest, it is a question of focus. If my focus lies on the faults, where does hope live? Truth is not what we see in front of us, but how God sees what is in front of us.
I very much desire to see the creative power of words evident in my life, a characteristic of God (see Genesis one) and Jesus (be healed!) that I believe is lying mostly dormant in us because we don't know how to use our words. When I speak, I want life and light to come into any situation.
Anyone can see a valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), but it takes a true prophet, a true seer, a person with a keen eye focused on the subject (and the subject of life is Jesus) to be able to call them to join together and live!
This cherry was sacrificed to my enjoyment immediately after this photo was taken.