In her wonderful writings, Marilyn Howshall suggests that God speaks to us most often in metaphors. I too have found that occassionally something will suddenly come to mind - a little seed of an idea - a spark of understanding - a bit of a metaphor - and I have to work it all out, find the ends of the idea, pull it out until it breaks down. So forgive me while I think (type) outloud, for while writing to a friend in a dark spot today, God gave me a metaphor seed.
Looking down at the mire and focusing on the sin done to us, God's flashes of brightness and hope are only flickerings on the edge of consciousness, hardly noticeable - but looking up and focusing on God's love, those flashes are so bright and beautiful - like looking up at the sky knowing that the next firework is coming momentarily and expecting its beauty.
The idea of watching the fireworks has continued to pull at the edges of my mind. It's kind of neat really. We don't go to see the fireworks only to keep our heads down and stubbornly gaze at the earth. Can you imagine, someone walking along looking at the ground and the sky lights up with golden sparkles above his head, and instead of saying, "ooh, fireworks!" and turning to look up and wait for the next one, he only complains that the ground is so muddy and there are so many rocks. The flash of light was too short to do him any good, he thinks. He's still in this horrible muddy place.
Oh, does that sound familiar! Crazy as it sounds, I have a natural inclination to do that very thing. It's easy to see life in terms of the negative. Negative self-talk, negative experiences - the whole cup half empty and then some. The children may be arguing and fighting, full of selfishness and spite. Then one of them comes up to me with a kiss or does something helpful, and I hardly notice. I still see them as selfish, naughty kids. Lord, forgive me!
But, if I go to see the fireworks, EXPECT to see beautiful fireworks, and keep looking up, God does not disappoint! Each little spark is so exciting! The colors, the sounds, the lights - such lights!
And then, what's really neat - is after gazing up into the heavens watching the grand finale - all the wonderful things God is doing in our lives, then we look back at the earth, and there are echos of the fireworks on our eyes. Blinding us to the negative. Keeping before us the thought of God's goodness and love.
I love fireworks, don't you? :)