In 1976, singer and song writer John Denver wrote the song: “Come and Let Me Look in Your Eyes”. It tells the story of someone who has lost their way, feels despairing, is searching for a way to find themselves, and reaches out for someone to help them. As I listened to this song it occurred to me that during this tumultuous time in history, when words are flying around us in confusing, extreme and varying directions, we might be able to relate to it in some way as we search for help to remain grounded, to find ourselves and our own voice, and to remember who we are. The words to the song are as follows. I invite you to read them and to see whether you resonate with the writer’s search and seeking:
“I guess growing isn’t hard to do, just stand against the wall... Once I was just two feet high, today I am six feet tall. But knowing who listen to, is something else again... words just whistle around my head like seasons in the wind... All across the water the clouds are sailing they won’t let me look at the sky. All I want to do is try to find myself... come and let me look in your eyes. In searching for the way to go, I’ve followed all the rules, the way they say to choose between the wise men and the fools. I listen to the words they say, I read what I should read I do whatever is right to do... try to be what I should be. Someone let me in I think the sky is falling, seems I’ve gotten lost on my way... all I want to do is find myself... Come and let me look in your eyes... But wisdom isn’t underground, nor on a mountain side... where am I to take myself, there’s no place here to hide. All across the universe the stars are fading, seems I’ve gotten lost on my way,... all want to do is find myself... Come and let me look in your eyes... Come and let me look in your eyes.”
It sometimes feels like a very noisy fast world we live in doesn’t it? We are rushed, pressured and in many cases frequently bombarded by many different views, beliefs, and opinions, about what the future holds, how to live or how to feel, or what we should or should not do. It is hard to keep up with all the chaotic communication, rushing and noise, and at times it is hard to know who to listen to. Since the voices that assail us effect and often shape our views and the ways we invest our energy in the living of our days, it is important to figure out who to listen to.
There is no question that some messages are more important and affect us more than others, but there are no messages that have a greater effect on us then those that come from God our Creator. God Himself is: “The way, the Truth and the Light”. He alone can help us find ourselves and our way. Unlike the noisy earthly messages that swirl around us, engulf us and that take us over from time to time, God is an ever-present voice for us. He does not bombard us but rather waits quietly and patiently for us to come to him, to recognize Him in a still small voice. He stands at the door knocking, inviting us to open the door and to receive the gift of His steadfast love for us. There is no pressure and no noise with God but rather, simple, pure and holy unconditional love, compassion, and guidance offered to all those who make time to pause amidst their noisy busy lives and make room for Him in their lives.
Carving out the time and quiet space to connect with God in prayer is the starting place to finding our way through the turbulent waters we encounter in life. God is with us at all times. When we commit to living in regular awareness and communication with God, we will grow ever closer to our Creator and thus ever closer to living into the image of Him who created us. God offers us Holy invitations through various spiritual practices that strengthen our faith and enable us to participate as partners with Him in redeeming the world. It is through those practices that we will find our true selves and be clear on what it means to live as children of God.
God is present in all living things. As we seek to grow closer to God in our lives there are many daily spiritual practices that will help us on our path. Some of these you may already be practicing, and others may be new. Examples that may get people started include:
*Opening to God through: prayer, silence, sabbath time alone with God, journaling, worship, reading the Holy Bible, meditation, breathing in God’s presence & breathing out or letting go of distractions, spending time with God’s creation in nature.
*Opening to others: shared worship, Communion, forgiveness, kindness, confession
*Opening to the world: mission, justice, celebration, & sharing with others in their spiritual practices.
As we go forward amidst the turmoil and challenge and the joy of this earthly life, may we listen for God’s guidance and compassion and feel His enduring presence, and then daily, in humble gratitude, accept His Holy Invitation to walk in His light and Grace.
~Created by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister