Daily Reflection
August 3rd, 2000
Carolyn Comeaux Meeks
Grants Administration Office
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Jeremiah 18:1-6
Psalms 146:1-6
Matthew 13:47-53

I was on a retreat in my early 20's, frankly having a great time socializing and not really into the religious aspects of the weekend.  But there was a time on the weekend when we were given (horror of horrors, at the time) an hour or so of total silence to “just be,” in the expanse of the natural surroundings in that central Texas hill country setting.  We were to “just be, and be alone” for that time.  I went walking on that dewy morning, taking in the freshness of the scene, the tranquility of birds and insects busy at their tasks and busy at the symphony of morning.  I walked a lot and briskly, and then I realized I was walking to be “doing something.”  So I decided to just sit.  I picked a spot to sit and listen and look.

The minutes that passed may have been five, or 30.  I do not recall.  I lost track of time.  I was just looking at the tiniest flower visible nearby, probably the flowering part of a pesty Texas weed.  I was kind of incredulous at its fragile and unassuming beauty—and realizing that I was the only human being who would ever notice this tiny part of creation.  Just as this realization came to me, the earth turned ever so slightly on its daily journey.  The morning sunlight aligned perfectly with one small drop of dew on the leaf of that plant and made it seem to dance.  The light splayed out from its first flash of white, then into a total widening rainbow of multicolored iridescence before it narrowed and became a pinpoint of white light again.  Then it “went away.”  Once again I was gazing at a Texas weed with an almost unnoticeable flower.

My forced “just being” had yielded a moment of great beauty for me.  I felt fortunate to have witnessed the turning of the world in the simple vessel of a waterdrop on a lowly leaf.  At that timeless moment, I, the run-from-silence young adult, felt as if God were saying, “This is you, my creation.  Let me shine in your life and into your life.  Let earth and sky conspire to dance in your brief moment in time.”

Now a couple of decades later the memory is as fresh as yesterday.

Sometimes God just says, in effect, “Pay attention.”  Pay attention to the little moments of life, or pay attention to what’s happening in the world around you.  Stop for a moment the busyness and business of day-to-day life and enter into the sacred moment that has no time limitation.  You don’t have to DO anything.  Just open your eyes wide, just let your ears hear what they don’t normally pick up.  Just be, and be still, and let Me communicate with you.

This seems to have been the case with Jeremiah.  This prophet, master of words and word-games and righteousness, is told by God to just pay attention at the potter’s house, and “there I will let you hear my words.”  He goes, sits, quiets his mind and heart long enough to let the simple motions of a potter at the potting wheel permeate his consciousness.  He lets the motion sink in as a stirring metaphor for the creative and loving attention involved in forming something wholly new, something ultimately useful, something substantive and beautiful.  Then Jeremiah hears God communicating:  This creative and attentive action—this is what I am doing with a whole people, a whole community, with Israel.

Today, may we still the Madison-Avenue voices, the to-do list voices, the have-to-be-doing-something-to-avoid-self-and-silence voices—at least just long enough to reverence a moment in time in our life when, just perhaps, God is wanting to communicate with us through God’s awesome continuing creation.

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