Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away, ere break of day, To find our long-forgotten gold. ~J.R.R. Tolkien from “Far over the misty mountains” in The Hobbit
The breeze—the breath of God—is still— And the mist upon the hill, Shadowy—shadowy—yet unbroken, Is a symbol and a token— How it hangs upon the trees, A mystery of mysteries! ~Edgar Allen Poe from Spirits of the Dead
Photo above by Joel De Waard
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
I pray that the breath of God would blow away the veils of mist and mystery in my life. The reality is – so much is hidden from me, I must proceed on faith alone without always seeing where I am going.
God has made it clear, we perceive Him through a glass darkly, a dim reflection. The mists of mystery are transient and shall be pulled back in the fullness of time. In the meantime, I gaze in wonder at what appears now only in shadow, waiting for that amazing moment when all shall be revealed.
photo above by Joel De Waard
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On Epiphany day, we are still the people walking. We are still people in the dark, and the darkness looms large around us, beset as we are by fear, anxiety, brutality, violence, loss — a dozen alienations that we cannot manage.
We are — we could be — people of your light. So we pray for the light of your glorious presence as we wait for your appearing; we pray for the light of your wondrous grace as we exhaust our coping capacity; we pray for your gift of newness that will override our weariness; we pray that we may see and know and hear and trust in your good rule.
That we may have energy, courage, and freedom to enact your rule through the demands of this day. We submit our day to you and to your rule, with deep joy and high hope. ~Walter Brueggemann from Prayers for a Privileged People
Unclench your fists Hold out your hands. Take mine. Let us hold each other. Thus is his Glory Manifest. ~Madeleine L’Engle “Epiphany”
Today is celebrated the Feast of Epiphany (His Glory revealed and made manifest in all lives).
Even as weak and crumbling vessels, God is made manifest within us. It is not the easy path to say yes to God: it means sacrifice, abandoning our will for His will so His glory is illuminated by His Light, not ours.
And so, we, like Mary, shall say yes.
His Seed shall take root in our hearts.
“Like Mary, we have no way of knowing… We can ask for courage, however,
and trust that God has not led us into this new land
only to abandon us there.” ~Kathleen Norrisfrom God With Us
…whenever you mark a horse, or a dog,
with a peculiarly mild, calm, deep-seated eye, be sure he is an Aristotle or a Kant,
tranquilly speculating upon the mysteries in man. No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.
They see through us at a glance.
But there is a touch of divinity ….
and a special halo about a horse… ~Herman Melville from Redburn: His First Voyage
There are some animals (and people) who will not look you in the eye. It may be a reluctance to appear too bold, as direct eye contact can imply, or it may be a reluctance to expose too much of their own inner world and feelings.
Because eyes don’t lie.
But when you can empty yourself into another being’s eyes and feel both understanding and understood, that is a touch of divinity at work. The eye is a mirror, a gazing ball and a collecting pool, and we reveal, reflect and absorb when we really take the time and gather the courage to look deeply into one another.