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John 1:9-18

Looking through my studio window at the maple tree in my back yard, I see that the leaves are no longer a brilliant golden yellow. They have darkened to a savory combination of sienna and russet, and when they flutter I am put in mind of ladies in elegant tasseled shawls. The light is soft, today – not so interested as it has been in showing the sharp edges of things. In the mountains snow has already fallen.


I have been savoring the prologue to the Gospel of John, letting the imagery reverberate in the chambers of my heart. The Word that became flesh and dwelt in three dimensional time – the Only Son – the Light which enlightens and which one can only see with the eyes of the soul. The world which does not know, does not recognize him. And recognition coming, giving power to be children of God, children born not of blood (dam, the stuff of life, sacred to God), nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of humankind but of God. God’s very self. Of a different level of understanding.

In old stories the character who embodies wisdom is often hidden from plain view. A gardener, maybe, or the guy who sweeps the courtyard, is revealed as the sage. Or a daft young woman turns out to be an incognito Sophia. This is simply a truth, that ordinary consciousness cannot perceive what is most important to us spiritually. We have to slow down, maybe close our eyes, breathe deeply, forget our worries and our lists, our fears and our suppositions. We have to listen with the ears that are attuned to the very stuff of God. Then we can see who we really are.

I like thinking of Christ as a presence in every moment, there from the beginning of the world, part of all the flavors and colors in each of the instances that has ever been. I like imagining him as an element in the dance of mitochondria, the sliding of tectonic plates, the combustion of stars and the laughter of children. There is a delightful expectancy in remembering that he could be anybody. He could be anywhere, waiting to be discovered. Word and light. When we find him, he will welcome us to new belonging.

A signal from my phone reminds me that I have an appointment in half an hour. Shifting in my chair, I acknowledge to myself that the barometer is undoubtedly fluctuating; my hips hurt. Somehow I need to get dinner underway, mail a card to my daughter and package some artwork for delivery.

The leaves of the maple coyly flip against the powder blue sky.

Beloved Word and Light, help me be present to my moments so that I may find you in them. Amen.

Laurie Gudim is a religious iconographer and liturgical artist, a writer and lay preacher living in Fort Collins, CO. See her work online at Everyday Mysteries.


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