Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: With Unshuttered Eyes

Strangely, it's like this: I walk through the living room without noticing the displaced stack of books on the floor, because they've been there for days.  They begin to look appropriate.  The towels from last Friday's swimming session are still wadded by the back door, and the lone flip-flop in a halved pair is still lingering under the kitchen table.  There are two bags of donations waiting to be donated, two boxes of storage items waiting to be stored, and it's all pushed to one side of the hallway.  The baby bassinet is filled with our old comforter...on top of unfolded laundry.

And I begin to not see its misplacement.  I clean around these things; it's odd.  The longer they sit, the less I notice their wrongness. 

That's what it's like.  Living here in a tornado-ravaged city, three weeks after the disaster. 

The flattened horizon has begun to look appropriate.  It is what I expect to see.  That mangled building?  I know it.  That stripped tree?  It's normal.  Those rows of battered, abandoned vehicles?  They are part of the landscape. 

We drive around it.  We see giant debris-removal trucks on every road, and we wait for them to move; they are anticipated.  We nod our heads at volunteers and relief workers; they might not live here, but they belong. 

Our eyes get used to what we are experiencing, even as our hearts ache.  The world evolves around us, even as our souls cling to the past.  It is protection, no longer being startled or terrified by the city's appearance.  It is grace, no longer feeling like the air has left my lungs.

It is life.  It will be beautiful again, but for now I'm comforted in knowing that my eyes, at least, won't have to remain shuttered in order to function in this town.  I can see it.  I can accept it.

Because it will be put back together again, just like I'll eventually move the boxes of storage and the wadded up towels.  The scope of one is so much larger than the other, but they both function the same way in my mind:

This, too, shall pass. 

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Alita's place today! Grab the button, link up and then go forth to encourage the two people before you as they walk this journey of intentional living.


  1. " eyes, at least, won't have to remain shuttered in order to function... I can see it. I can accept it." This is amazing, do you know that? This is so difficult to manage, seeing and accepting circumstances that are not what we planned or wanted. It will pass, but I'm glad while you're in the midst of it, you are able to manage such a beautiful perspective.

  2. This will pass. The town will rebuild. The community will grieve. There will be more and you will give more and your kids will understand more. Everything happens for a reason and this will make you stronger, and your town stronger, and your community will be enriched by people who pray for it.


  3. Yes. It will. It will be rebuilt, restored. And with it, hope, too. love you, Sarah.

  4. yes, you are seeing the bigger picture. love this one. thinking of you.

  5. I understand the clutter, the undone dishes or the floors that need to be dust mopped. Life is more important now to do things with family and you know 20 years from nowl, the kids won't say "remember that messy table, or the dirty floors".
    Kiss'em and hug'em. Life is precious!

  6. You are right, this will pass, and you will learn and grow and flourish. I have found that the things that were the hardest for me to endure, are the lessons that have stuck within my heart the longest. You will never forget this time, but you will grow to love the lessons it brings.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?