Day 7: Not by Sight

31 Days to See Beauty in Your MessI’m spending each day here in the month of October writing about finding beauty in the everyday mess.  Before you think I’m an expert on this topic, let me confess: I’ve likely already lost my temper, prayed that I could have a solo vacation, and held back frustrated tears this morning.  I’m far from having this mastered.  I’m writing here transparently so that you and I might grow in seeking His daily extravagant beauty.  So pull up a chair and get ready to dive into the mess with me, knowing that somewhere in this mess is a beauty that only God can craft.


When my workout of the day requires running, I get up before the sun comes up. I lace up tennis shoes in the dark because if I turn the lights on, I’m temporarily blinded to the dark-light outside.

Shoes copy

I don’t wear my glasses on these runs (and I’ve long since run out of contacts), so I can’t see very well.  I have an astigmatism so the world is all blurry and distorted.  Distances look longer and the hills roll and curve and loom menacingly.

Speaking of the hills, did I mention a mile run in my neighborhood includes 4 hills all at least the height of two cars stacked and some as high as five cars stacked?

Oh, and I’m not a runner.  I’m built for endurance though, so I can usually power through 1.5 miles of hilly terrian or a 5K of flat terrian.  But I hate running.  I hate the pound pound of the pavement on my feet and knees.  I hate the dripping running sweat soaking through everything.  I hate the chaffing of my thighs as I run in shorts because it’s too hot to wear pants even at 6am.

Today, I’m powering up the second hill (after already having climbed the 5+car hill at 45 degrees of doom) and the world is still very fuzzy.  I round the corner at the stop sign for the 5+ stacked car hill that is my first downhill of the whole run.  The world sort of explodes with the light of sunrise; all orange and glowing above the trees.

If I hadn’t have climbed those first two killer hills, I wouldn’t have been high enough to see that beauty.

I think it’s the same way with our daily mess and beauty.  Sometimes we have to climb through the gigantic hills of toddler eating laundry piles.  Or maybe we’re seeing blurry through the lens of a illness passed among family members again.  Or maybe the days are just long and hard with a baby not sleeping through the night and a toddler climbing out of his bed over and over and over at naptime.

Then we round the corner and are startled by the beauty of a moment; startled by the grace in the daily.

Not that laundry piles, sickness, sleeplessness, or discipline battles aren’t grace, but they’re hard grace meant to grow us.  And it’s this hard grace that prepares us to see the beauty.  It’s the hard grace that lets us capture that moment where your independent child holds your hand voluntarily for half an hour.  Or when your busy toddler boy, who no doubt unrolled toilet paper, threw something at you, or stuck his foot in his dirty diaper this morning, falls and then wants nothing more than to rest his head in the curve of your neck.  Or that glorious moment when your strong willed child comes humbly to you and whispers, “I disobeyed.”  Or your husband comes home with a bottle of wine and a chocolate bar unexpectedly after a long day.

Those beautiful sunrise moments, they’re made more beautiful by the hills you had to climb to see them.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,  for we walk by faith, not by sight.  Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Cor 5:6-9

So let’s climb those hills while we’re here with our fuzzy vision.  While we’re longing so to be home with Him and be through with this race.  And let’s wait for those glimpses of beauty that the Lord Jesus provides, knowing that this is a season to walk by faith.