Here's a confession for you:
I'm a 'House-Hunters' and 'House-Hunters, International' junkie. I love to walk through the rooms, whether large or small, listen to the comments of young people who are just starting out and must--MUST!!!--have granite in their kitchen, two sinks in their bathrooms, hardwood through-out, and sure enough, that GIGANTIC master bedroom 'is a little disappointing.' And we play along, Beve and I do. We act like we're in the market for a home in Biloxi, Mississippi or Cincinnati, Ohio or Paris, France. We pick and choose like we have all the money in the world and care about such things.
My very favorite comment, though, is when people look or step outside and say, "I like the view." And the view is of the backyard. Maybe a few trees, an expanse of grass. A fence, if they're lucky. Now and then, of course, there's what I call a view--of mountains or water or a little of both--usually in Italy or the Caribbean. I hunt up my contacts on my phone when I see such views and try to figure out how many of our friends and relatives we'd have to go in together with to afford to buy such a place. Throw away our responsibilities, hop a plane and stare at that vista with a cup or glass of something soothing until the cares of our lives fell off our shoulders.
The funny thing is, we actually have a real-live water view from our real-live front patio. And a mountain one, out back. We don't have to pack a bag to watch the sunset (when said sun isn't covered by our famous NW rain-clouds). We can step our our front door and watch God color the sky with all the shades on the red part of the color wheel.
But you know, we don't pay attention to that view very much. We walk in and out of our house without even turning our heads toward the bay. Now and then we notice a storm rolling in. A couple of weeks ago, E pointed out fog in the bay; it was amazing to see the blue sky above it and the fog like a mattress lying on top of a bed of water. When someone new comes to our home, they always mention the view and I almost always turn toward the window like I'd never noticed it before. And maybe because I want to see it through their eyes.
I wonder how many others who live in homes with such views (or even better ones--and I have been in many with much better views than ours!), also forget to pay attention.
I got to thinking about this today because of something I read earlier in Frederick Buechner. He's one of my favorite writers: he writes of the created world and the Creator with simplicity and depth and I'm challenged by him to do the same. He's always going on about paying attention to life, to one's ordinary, daily life because it's in the course of that life that God shows up. It's in the views we've been given, I suppose you could say. Whatever it was I read this morning made me think of the view from my front step and how I get so wrapped up in what isn't right with my life, what is hurting in me and hurting in others that I have just plain forgotten to simply stop and look. To pay attention to what He's put in front of me to see.
The view from here, I mean. The long view, maybe. Sure, the next step that might still be hard to take, but even that has His hand written all over it, with all His glorious colors. Dawns and gloamings and every thing between. When I say, 'this day--He made it', I must also say this: the dust on my shelves, the dog hair on my floors, they are also his creation. The dishes in the sink speak of food eaten that nourish our bodies. When you think about it, it's all a pretty good view.
"Everything I have seen teaches me to believe in a Creator I have not seen."