Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Maybe it's just me

Has anybody else noticed how incredible the clouds have looked lately?

I have a window at work. No big deal for some of you. But it's a rare commodity for those of us who work in production at Respironics. Especially since there is only a single row of windows running the length of the northern side of our production floor. So I see my window as a wonderful gift from God. And believe me, with a window directly in front of me, I do spend a great deal of time looking through it.
I admire the beauty of what is on the other side of the window. While it is certainly no magnificent, picturesque landscape that I have to look at - actually, it's a parking lot in front of a stand of trees with a few rolling hills behind them - but I do enjoy seeing what is out there.
I've always loved watching the sunrise from my window. And as the seasons change, and the days grow longer and shorter with those changes, the sunrises always seem to take on different characteristics. Each season seems to have it's own particular hues. In the summer, the colors seem a bit more subdued than those of fall or spring. However, I've been seeing a lot more of the vibrant hues of reds and violets since sometime in July, and I've been loving it. Especially the way those colors seem to make the clouds themselves flow with a life of their very own. That's part of why I asked the question I did at the beginning of this post. I'm kinda curious about whether or not anyone else has noticed this.
Even more than that, I've just been on something of a cloud watching kick, just because I can, and because I've really felt lead by the Spirit to. And I'm sure that might sound strange to some of you. So I'll explain.

Recently, I've felt a need to seek solitude. Since there isn't a whole lot of conversation that happens around me while I'm at work, and my job doesn't require every ounce of my concentration, I typically spend my less-engaged time immersed in my music. I also spend some of my time praying, and this is where I keep hearing God telling me to spend even more time with Him. But He wants me to spend my time in a more contemplative prayer, one that consists of me not asking Him for anything, not telling Him about any of my joys or woes, not even thanking Him for the beauty of the sunrise, or anything else, but just sitting quietly and listening - and not to my music. So I have been, and that's when I started to really notice the clouds.
One morning in particular, as I sat in my contemplative prayers, I watched the clouds moving after the sunrise. The clouds in the forefront were dark and flat, seemingly smeared across the horizon, while there was a bank of clouds behind them that were swollen and white. It almost looked like a snow covered mountain range rising behind a murky lake. And I couldn't take my eyes off of it all. Especially the way they seemed to move together. That was when I heard the Spirit tell me "I just wanted to share that with you. I thought you might appreciate seeing it."

It's taken me a long time to come to grips with the idea that God actually wants to spend time with me. It isn't that I never believed that He loved me, I just never really understood how, or how much. I finished reading a book last week called The Sacred Romance - there will be a review available at JT's Podcast page in the next week or so - which pretty much put everything into perspective for me. Without giving away too much of the book, or spoiling the review, I will say that this book really changed my perceptions of what it means to love and be loved by God.
God wants to be intimate with us. He wants to share beauty with us the way we want to share a sunrise, or a sunset, with those we truly love. He wants to share what's on His heart with us. He wants us to know His heart the way He knows ours, and He wants for us to open our hearts to Him. Not because He doesn't already know what's in them, but because He wants us to share with Him in the same way we would with those we love here on earth.

Since that morning, I've watched the clouds outside of my window nearly everyday. And I've struggled with how to describe what I've seen, but I'll try because I really want to share this with all of you, the way God wanted to share all of it with me.
I've been able to see the hints of pink that linger in the yellow shaded billowy clouds that float through the dawn sky after it has faded from fiery red to a cool blue. I've seen the massive, white banks with their darkened bellies crawling through the afternoon sky, rolling like the stormclouds from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. I've admired the way the dusky clouds of evening seem to hold more gold and orange in them than their morning counterparts. Even the rainclouds have looked more ominous, dark and flowing like lava, since that morning.
So that's why I asked if anyone else had noticed the clouds lately, or is it just me?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff A said...

Funny you should mention this. I too have been spending some quality time with the clouds lately.

There have been awesome colors and gorgeous shapes abound lately. Of course I have always been fascinated by clouds, being a storm chaser solidified that. But it seems that they have been more vivid lately!

10:37 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

Jeff;
Thanks for saying so. This is a great affirmation for me.

9:52 PM  

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