As I was driving to church this morning, late as usual, bouncing between the two lanes along I-205 trying to avoid the spray of cars ahead of me so that I could actually see out the front window I managed to glimpse something quite remarkable. Near the end of the greenbelt section approaching the Willamette exit I glanced over at a metal rod sticking up out of the ground in the middle of the greenway where there once was a reflector but instead had a large something on top instead. Suddenly I realized it was a huge hawk, and I do mean huge! It was placidly perched in the middle of a freeway and I wondered how many other people were noticing this unusual sight. I was still thinking about how big the hawk was when I passed the rock wall just before the West Linn exit which has several of the waterfalls going at the moment with all the rain we've been having. They are less impressive when you think about it being mostly street run-off but they are pretty, and they can be surprising. Beth was visiting from Iowa this past spring and she couldn't help but let out a "Wow!" as we drove by the wall. I read this morning an email update from a friend who is in China expounding about the beauty she finds in the Chinese people, the faces of her neighbors and students.
I wonder how many people drove by that hawk without the slightest notice. How many people drive by the rocks and waterfalls apathetic and indifferent until an out-of-town visitor takes an interest. Why is it easier to see the beauty in another person when we are outside of our comfort zone, away from our norm? Why do we ignore the beauty and majesty that God has surrounds us with by our complacency? I am certain the God has filled our every day with the remarkable, the surprising, and the beautiful - it is all there for us to find, like going on a fantastical treasure hunt. But these things are not hidden, they are there in the open like the hawk, the trick to finding them is to open our eyes and be expectant. What is even more astounding is that we live in a fallen broken world, it is a far cry from what the Lord intended for us and yet it can still take our breath away if we let it. Even far more amazing, this earth is just a shadow of what is to come. Revelation 21 tells us there will be a new heaven and a new earth, one where God will make his home with men, a city resplendent with all kinds of bling.
It is little wonder we cannot begin to fathom the beauty or marvelousness of heaven, most of us don't even begin to recognize the magnificent hints of God's artistry here and now, so how can we imagine something far superior? So what will you see today? Will you focus on the dark gray asphalt or glance at the median and see a hawk? Will you drive by the rocks and dismiss the waterfall as just run-off or marvel at the beauty of a small waterfall? Will you look passively at the person beside you or will you look at their face and notice them seeing their beauty and the image of God in each of them? What will you see today?