Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Looking Up

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!)     Mark 16:2-3

Three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, arrive at the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. They are busy discussing how to get into the tomb, because when they were last at the tomb, on the Friday of Jesus’ death, they saw the stone put in place and knew it was more than they could move themselves.

I know I am often so busy looking down, limiting my vision to what I know, to what is seen, that I forget to look up, to be open to how God can transcend my limited ways of being and doing. Looking down limits what I can see. When I look up, my vision is expanded greatly.

As I thought about the difference that looking up makes, I recalled an experience I witnessed many years ago. It was about this time of year, a time when cedar waxwings migrate back through Georgia toward their summer home. A holly bush beside the parking lot outside my office window was shaking from the number of waxwings filling its branches and eating the red berries. Even with the distance my window was from the bush, I could hear the faint peeping of the birds. I watched a coworker pull up in his car, parking right in front of the bush. He got out of the car, never looking up, and walked into the building. When I asked him later if he had seen the birds, he had no idea what I was talking about!

During Lent, a friend shared a prayer about looking at others with enough attention to notice the color of their eyes. If we are looking down, we may be unable to see the face of God in the faces of those in front of us, we may miss the wonders of nature that our Creator has placed around us, and we may not see that the stone has been rolled away, as the three women only experienced when they looked up.

The stone is rolled away! God made a way when way was not possible for others to see. God is still rolling stones away for those who can see God’s work in the world. The Kingdom of God is among us and beyond us! Are we looking up to see it?

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