The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Fearless Faith

Capturing the moment


January 26, 2022

Highlights of this wintery time of year include fiery sunrises and sunsets. Each is unique with its own evocative beauty. Digital images that capture such moments can be difficult to distinguish morning sky from evening. Years from now when we are a mere afterthought of future generations, a cache of old thumb drives might be found in our attic that would lead researchers to conclude that whatever else could be said of our generations, they sure did enjoy their sunrises and sunsets.

One could imagine that a steady diet of them day in and day out would render them too boring to warrant a second glance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celestial nuance is a specialty of the Creator! Each time we have seemingly exhausted the various ways sunrises and sunsets present themselves, a new and different perspective pushes its way to the forefront. One of the most recent entries involved a few points of early morning sun twisting their way through the angles and bevels of a leaded glass window.

An entirely different perception resulted, one more fanciful and intriguing than we could have imagined on our own. Distortions in the glass coupled with the focused brilliance of the rising sun created a momentary canvas hinting of snow along an open meadow with dark bands of sky overhead and rows of fir trees in the background. All this from a fleeting glance through the glass at sunrise.

What wonder there exists in unexpectedly discovering something of such beauty and worth. Are we willing to seek out the same in persons around us — friends, family, acquaintances, even strangers? How often we pass up opportunities to invite beauty into our days! Jesus set before us a compassionate model of care, one that often transcended the moment. What people saw is what they got. For many it was welcome change from the everyday burdens of life and quite different from the smoke and mirrors of organized religion.

Jesus ministered to people without artifice or guile. He was plain spoken and authentic. The doors he opened for others to step through were life altering. He did not entertain quid pro quo allegiances, nor did he ask of people whether they were deserving of grace conferred. The Kingdom so ardently sought by others turned out to be something quite different than many had imagined, their perceptions shaken and boundaries broken.

Each sunrise and sunset is an invitation to grow beyond ourselves, to break through our obstinacy if only for a short time. With practice, persistence, and no small amount of nurturing, we can learn to think broadly without apology and to displace the fear that too often accompanies our faith journeys. For the days when clouds obscure, there is comfort in knowing that the sun still rises and sets though it cannot be seen. Seeing is not believing as much as believing is seeing. The bevels and distortions present in our lives might prevent us from seeing all that we should see, but it also makes for transformation of the most radical and lasting kind. We just might end up caring for each other after all.


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