Today was supposed to be sunny and cool. The forecasters got the cool part right (47 degrees when I woke up - gah!), but it was completely overcast and a bit damp. There's something about that kind of gray, drizzly weather that gives me the urge to go to the ocean. I want to bundle up and head to the beach in one of my favorite New England harbor towns. I daydream about sitting by a fireplace in some cozy seaside restaurant with a steaming cup of soup while watching the stormy waves crash onto the sand.
But the mist and chill in the air were fine for apple-picking so we headed to my dad's as planned.
Along the way, I noticed that all the trees that have been so incredibly vibrant in autumn color weren't quite as impressive. The colors that have been taking my breath away were muted and less inspiring because of the gray clouds. Without the sun to highlight the leaves and without the blue sky as a backdrop, the beauty was harder to see.
And, I realized that the same is true for my life in general. Without the Son in my life, I'm less able to see beauty around me, especially in other people. It seems that no matter how hard I try, I have this gray film over my eyes that makes me always find the negative, that makes me cynical and impatient and unkind - if not out loud, then in my thoughts.
But when I draw close to the Son and let Him shine in my heart more, that film begins to be lifted. I can begin to see what He sees in other people - the beauty, the potential. And, I begin to have a heart more like His. I'm less inclined to think the worst of people and more inclined to think the best of someone and to pray for people who I would normally just grumble about (like the grouchy woman at the grocery store yesterday who snarled at me and R...). :-)
He has also made me more hopeful about myself. I can see the potential beauty in me, and I'm better able to hear Him pointing out to me the areas I need to work on and give up to Him. Lately, God has been saying, "Here, here, and here" to me, lovingly and gently showing me where that film is still covering my eyes and my heart. I feel like I should get a t-shirt made that reads, "Under Reconstruction." I'm so thankful for this construction work and for being able to see more and more beauty within and without every day. (You should be thankful for this construction work, too, because I asked God for guidance in writing this post and He wisely had me delete an unbelievably corny sentence that would have ended with "let the Sonshine in" - with no disrespect to The Fifth Dimension, of course.)
Lest I make it sound like there's a halo over my head and bluebirds landing on my shoulders wherever I go, however, I am very aware that I am and always will be a work in progress. One of the many things that God has been talking to me about is holding my tongue, which you'd think would be easy for someone as quiet as me. But I'm a very critical person, and of course the people I love take the brunt of this fault of mine. So, while I was typing this testimony of how God is working in my life and helping me to be more like Him, I was fighting the urge to say something rude and to shove a tissue box at A, who was sniffing constantly and driving me bonkers. And, while I managed to hold my tongue in this case (with God's help, of course), He proceeded to point out that rolling my eyes has got to go, too. ;-)
p.s. May God grant me the ability to one day take a non-blurry, in-focus picture. :-)