I am a self-absorbed, not very observant person. I can walk right by a friend, and never see him/her unless he yells out, "Kim," or S elbows me and says, "Don't you know him?" I can be blind to what is around me.
As you may be able to tell, I have been thinking about the "ordinary" and the "extraordinary" this week. If we live in the ordinary, but we believe in the extraordinary, then maybe we need to pay more attention. To this end, I have been practicing this week. I've kept my camera with me (I LOVE my digital camera) and kept watch, waiting to see the extraordinary. So, with the theory that a picture is worth a 1000 words, here is a sample of what I saw.
This is one that struck me the first day I started. It seems to really illustrate what I was looking for. It is the parking lot at WalMart (very ordinary), but look at that sky -- amazing!
On the same day, I took the picture that was with The Ordinary Day post from the parking lot where I work. Great sunrise picture.
In case you are curious, while we are looking back at past posts, I took the picture with yesterday's post in Portugal. It is Cabo daRoca -- the western most point in Europe. The ocean you can see is the Atlantic -- very different from our views of the Atlantic.
Cheating a little, this rainbow picture was taken in November with my cell phone. I was driving the Advent Devotional to the church to be copied. Almost all the way from home, I was following this rainbow. When I got to church (that dark chocolate brown building you can see at the foot of the rainbow), the rainbow actually seemed to be coming out of the bell tower of the church. It disappeared before I could get a picture a closer picture than this one. I include this it with this week's pictures because I just figured out how to get it off my cell phone.
This one is of the steeple of the the First Congregational Church in Ceredo. The church was first started in the 1850s and the building was dedicated in 1886. I think that it is pretty extraordinary that a church could house people continually for over 100 years. What's really amazing to me is that this isn't the oldest church in the area, and if I were to hunt around, I could find even older church buildings in the area. I went to a seminar on Saturday at a Methodist church that was founded in the first half of the 1800's. They are statements which witness to the long-standing history which supports us. When I notice these very old churches (for our area), I am reminded that the church is already 2000 years old -- that's a long time for people to have faith.
Speaking of churches, I took this one in our santuary tonight. It was completely dark. The only light in the room was coming through the stained glass windows from the outside. Tiny jewels of color in blackness. I really didn't think that I would see anything of value in the pictures (again, love the digital camera -- great to be able to take photographic risks without worrying about developing them). How often are we like that? Expecting to see nothing in the darkness, but being surprised by glimpses of color. (To see the picture better, click on it)
One more. Today's sunrise. Just fantastic. Again outside Walmart.
In a book I read for a church committee on which I serve, I found an interesting quote. The book is Natural Church Development by Robert E. Logan. He says, "We should never confuse that which God has created with God himself. " Let the extraordinary we find in the ordinary be reasons to remember and worship our God.
I have other photos from my week which I've loaded into a Yahoo album called Open Eyes at this link.
Closing quote (unrelated to post): I found this in the book I'm reading called The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingswroth. Even though the books is about Mr. Rogers, the quote is from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. "When they are wholly His, they will be more themselves than ever." He goes on to say, "the deepest likings and impulses of any man are the raw material, the starting point with which [Christ] has furnished him." Extraordinary.