Santa Fe, New Mexico

Psalms 118
23 This is from the LORD,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;
25 We will rejoice and be glad in it.
O LORD, save us, we pray.

The Lenten Season is a time for reflection and preparation. and I think of that
when I remember the sunsets in the desert. I can recall where I was each time
that I saw one that took my breath away. They were the type of sunset that
made me pull over and vainly try to capture it with a camera. One minute I was
driving along trying to put together my plans for the evening: Where was I
camping and what I was going to eat? Then,as I would look to my left or straight
ahead I would see the sky begin to change from day to night. But before it went
down, it would put on a show. It happened so quickly that I had to stop right
then and try to capture it. It changed minute by minute; the position of the sun
and the changing colors of the sky and the mercurial changing of the clouds
relentlessly progressed. It was like a slow motion kaleidoscope with no way to
recreate it or slow it down. I could only absorb it and appreciate the full majesty
in the very moment that it happened. So, I did.

It was like the day wanted to be remembered right then. No delaying or
“I will get to that later.” No, sir, it was a here-and-now
experience. The horizon was the canvas that created an extravagant
picture that reminded me of the things I had experienced that day. I had
to be present and open to its beauty, and that reminded me of the other
glimpses of beauty along the way.
In our ordinary life, the day bleeds into night with little fanfare and little
awareness of beauty. It is light, it darkens, and then it is dark. We mark
the transition by turning on an artificial light. We hardly take the time to
acknowledge that another day has passed without pausing to appreciate
the significance of the day or reflect on its importance.
In the desert, there are miles and miles of sameness,and because of that,
there is a tendency to overlook the uniqueness of all that is nuanced
there. But in the setting of the sun, the beauty will not be denied. Our
lives are often filled with a sameness that blinds us to the subtle beauty
and small joys that are present within our daily lives. It would do our
souls good if we set an alarm for the setting of the sun, a walk to a door,
drive toward the west, open our blinds, and absorb the beauty of the
transition of day to night. Then, take the time to reflect on “the day that
they Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Oh God of interruptions and nuanced beauty, please give us eyes to see
the gifts that You have given us in the midst of the mundane. Amen

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