on my shoulders
makes me happy...
in my eyes
Can make me cry...."
Does anyone remember that song? I think John Denver sang it.
(And, by the way, wasn't John Denver an oddity in the music business? I always viewed him more as a member of the Sierra Club than a pop singer.)
Anyhow, sunshine in MY eyes is a big deal. They say that brown-eyed people have less sun-sensitivity than those whose irises are pale. This is probably true of all people except those in my specific gene pool. In the neighborhood where I grew up, the mailboxes were at the edge of the street. My own mother could not walk the 15 feet from our house to the mailbox without prescription sunglasses, so I probably come by this condition naturally.
Here's the problem -- it's just TOO BRIGHT out there most of the time! Don't get me wrong - I love the sun. I'm all for the sun. But it is just too much for me sometimes. It's far too intense. Because I have a difficult time with the brightness and glare, I'm sure I miss out on some things. In my haste to avoid the irritation, I hurry inside or to somewhere shady to get a little relief.
Funny, though. As soon as I put on my sunglasses, things are immediately better. There's just enough tint in the lenses to soothe the irritation and soften the contrasts to a level I can handle. There's a filter that helps me see what's there without hurting myself so much.
Photographers, too, use filters to be able to capture their subjects in the most beautiful way possible. And there are other kind of filters - air filters, water filters, oil filters. But all filters have the same basic function: they keep out the really harmful things while letting the essential things through.
Today I went somewhere quiet and put on some worship music. And I just sat there and listened. At first I was trying to catch up on emails and do a little planning for the week, but pretty soon I was caught up in the lyric and the melody and most of all the MESSAGE of the music:
God loves me.
God is for me.
God is strong.
God's power is at work within me.
God is glorious.
It's like I'd forgotten that for a little while.
I've been rushing around in this world where everything looks like it's falling apart at the seams-- countries in crisis, political and economic meltdowns, natural disasters, friends struggling in their marriages, job losses, sicknesses that aren't getting better -- and it feels like too much, like I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!
Life gets too intense, sometimes, and we seek the nearest shade. We run to the fridge. To the bar. To the gym. Buy something new. Plunge headlong into a diverting project or a new relationship. Take a vacation. And it helps for a little while.
But what about the times we can't run away from life? The times we just have to stand there in the harsh noon-time sun and face it?
May I suggest a quiet place, some inspiring truthful music and a filter of faith, hope and love?
My God is glorious.
And He loves me more than I will ever know.
He renews my strength as I trust in Him.
He is glorious.
Somehow, for this moment, just knowing that is enough.