I thought of you this morning. I was sitting under our large maple trees, the leaves rustling in the wind, and the sun streaking through the leaves. Taking a few minutes of respite. With coffee in hand, I sat down in our yellow adirondack chairs. Sun, light, and warmth surrounding me. Nowhere to be but in the chair, present to the moment.
My prayers quickly ascended: Dear God, thank you for this time and space, the simplicity of a yellow chair, the chirps of birds singing just for me, and a chance to catch my breath. Help me to breathe in and inhale your goodness and love. The words of this song keep coming to me: Come and fill my heart, with your love, you alone, O Lord are holy. Come and fill my heart, Lord. I’m here. Sitting and ready.
I thought of you because I hope that you give yourself moments of rest and respite. That you take the time to pay attention; to feel the grass on your feet, to watch a praying mantis slowly climb a lone leaf, and to decipher the distinct bird calls from the trees. It is my prayer that you pay attention to your life in all its challenge and beauty, struggle and joy.
Maybe you don’t have a yellow chair or even a front yard with green grass, but perhaps you have a small corner in your home, the comfort of your bed, or even your closet. Maybe there’s a window in your kitchen that you can gaze out of as you wash dishes, or the couch in the living room where you can sit and watch your children play. There’s some place waiting for you, ready for you to come and take notice.
Sometimes it’s only a minute here and there, or just one deep breath. Sometimes those stolen moments are all we have to offer, but they are enough. God is there in those spaces meeting you and loving you.
Wherever you find this note, I hope it gives you the encouragement to take a deep breath and look and see the beauty in front of you. Jesus used such ordinary items – bread, wine, water – and transformed them into an abundance of grace. He’s still at work changing the simple moments in our lives into extraordinary encounters with the divine.
Sit at your table for a meal and see the shimmering hospitality in front of you as you eat with your family.
Jump in the pool and feel the water cascade across your face reminding you that you are God’s beloved.
Hear the voices of children running and playing and hear the voice of God.
There’s so much for us to see and experience if we just open our eyes. God’s love is all around.
I leave you with these words from Ephesians, may they take up residence in your heart and may you feel their truth: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.