Look Up

In a recent podcast interview, Anne Lamott shared advice she often calls upon from her pastor. She said, “Pastor Veronica always talks about how you can trap bees on the bottom of a mason jar without honey or lids because the bees don’t look up—they just kind of walk around muttering to themselves and bumping into the glass walls. Whereas, if they looked up they could be free.”   When Lamott feels overwhelmed by her life or the state of the world, when she feels like she is just walking around muttering to herself and bumping into walls, she remembers the bees, goes outside and looks up.

On Monday evening I dressed in my black pant suit and white clerical collar before heading to our college’s chapel for our Holy Week service. During the service, we read the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross, blowing out candles and darkening the chapel as we progressed. I read the last line, “Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit” then walked slowly to the Christ candle centered on the communion table. All the lights were off at that point. The only light in our vast 600-seat chapel was the candle flickering in front of me. I paused to breathe. I didn’t want to do what I was supposed to do. I wondered why I was the one. Then, I leaned forward, cupped my hand around the leaping flame and blew.

That same evening, as my husband and I said goodnight in our bedroom, he asked me if there were lights left on outside. Moving to the window overlooking our backyard, he said, “Wow. The moon is really bright tonight.” From my pillow, I looked up. The gray light from a full moon had illuminated our yard, casting out the darkness.

[Feature Image: John]

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