Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yielding to Surprise

As I see brave spring shoots receiving just the right amount of light, warmth and moisture to break through the dry, cold soil, the word “tender” keeps surfacing for me.  Everything about spring seems to have a gentle hue.   My hibernating winter gaze begins to soften, as I allow an increasing number of subtle smiles to warm my face. I sometimes even catch my voice whispering to budding trees and perennial flowers, “You sweet surprise, you’re lovely. And then I giggle a bit and add, “I see you, you’re such a delight for my exploring eyes.  Thank you.”

The Latin root for tender is “tener” defined as “yielding, easily broken”.  I find myself looking across the oratory when we sing the Liturgy of the Hours.  We sing antiphonally, so one side sings and then the other.  I pray that as I am attentive to one familiar face at a time, my moistened spring-gaze will imagine a new aspect of her unique beauty that will reveal itself to me as the day unfolds.

 If my heart remains cold, dry soil I’m tempted to say, “I have her all figured out.  I know exactly what she will likely do or say.” I’ve actually given her the greatest insult I can give her.  “Tender moments” acknowledge that each day she is no longer exactly like she was the day, month or year before. She is changing and transforming. Hopefully my attentiveness will change my heart too. I pray that the warmth and light of the Spirit can use this present moment to tenderize my vision and let my stereotypes be more “easily broken”.  Allow me, my unconditionally loving God, to be surprised each day at discovering hues of beauty in the people that I think I have “all figured out”.

S. Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck

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