As I mentioned in my last post, I recently moved to a new city. I came to this new place with an adventurous spirit. I decided that I would be free to go on adventures, as often as I have time. I wasn’t going to stop myself from exploring this new place just because I didn’t have friends surrounding me quite yet. And so that’s just what I have been doing. I’ve challenged myself to experience one beautiful thing a day – and to give myself a moment to allow that beautiful thing to move me. This means every day I’ve been either taking a moment to sit at the Lake, going for a short walk after work, visiting a scenic overlook, or taking a drive down a beautiful road. I thought this would be neat, but what I didn’t know was that this would change my perspective.
I would say that usually people do what I’ve been doing with others around them, whether it be a friend, a group of friends, family, or a spouse. But since I’ve been allowing myself to experience these things by myself (while always keeping in mind safety of course), it’s got me pondering.
The first few times I found a beautiful spot, I would instantly think, “Oh! I wish my family were here, I wish my household sisters were here!” I would then try to capture the perfect picture so that I could show them later and it would be like they had experienced it with me when they saw it. Almost so that I could “validate” the experience later by posting it on social media. And this was frustrating for me at first, because obviously a picture is not the same as real life. But the disappointment was really that I felt like even though I was in beautiful places, I couldn’t experience them fully because there was no one there to experience it with me. I was limiting how much I was letting the beauty affect me.
Yes, we as human beings are social beings. And so it is natural for me to want to experience things with others. But I was missing a big piece of it.
In Adoration the other day, I was reflecting on how the Lord’s beauty really pierces my heart. How it’s not enough to look at Him, but you can’t help but be changed by just the smallest glance. As I gazed upon Him in the beautiful host, in an ornate monstrance, in a gorgeous church, it was striking me that His beauty is such that it pierces my very soul, it longs to enter into my very being, and often the only way I let that beauty in is for me to be pierced by Him. And that He uses everything to try to get through to us.
But then I saw clearly what the Lord was inviting me to.
By giving me these daily moments in beauty by myself, He is inviting me to allow this beauty to change me – if not to pierce me – at the very least to affect me. Because every moment I spend taking in something beautiful around me – brings me back to the Lord. Because I actually am not experiencing them alone at all – I am experiencing them in more community than I ever have before, as I experience them with the Lover of my soul, the Lord Himself. And so I’m not holding back. I may not at the moment have my dearest friends nearby to experience every little thing with, but I have the One who is Beauty itself. As I experience the Lake, the views, the little spots of beauty around me in this incredible city with only the Lord, I would dare to say that I am experiencing it more profoundly than I ever did, with Him, in Him, being brought back to Him, who created it all in the first place.
Oh how far the Lord’s ways are above my own.