my dad takes photos of landscape. growing up i was impatient with the idea. thinking it was worth more while to pay attention to what and who was in front of us. surrounding only close. i wanted him to stop looking beyond.
what i like mostly about calendars. not the numbers and squares that beckon organized. it is the pictures. and most—-landscapes. the strong, peaceful drawing in of them. days ago, i swung open metal mailbox to see a curled up calendar tucked inside. enticed by just one of large landscape on the cover, i flipped it open eager for eleven adding.
instead i retreated from beauty made meager by too many ads pressing in. disappointed i almost gave up on the looking.
i love the psalms. they are this recognizable over-and-over-because-we-need-to-be-reminded-often picture of a broken world pressing in and down. crowding out good and hope and joy.
they are this cried out:
feeling failure’s sting.
unsure of direction or purpose.
wanting to give up.
wanting to fight back. pay back.
and at the end of it. this impossible to deny call to look up and look more closely at god. to see again who he is. to see the big and far-reaching and landscape of him. greater than the weight of this world.
i understand my dad’s love of landscape now with some wisdom of traveling toward age. a man who has lived a life of faith and roads less traveled. he has learned to look out and look up and see the wide-open-come-this-way-i-am-more-than-all-this big of his god. learned where and when to choose focus.
turn your eyes upon jesus,
look full in his wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of his glory and grace.
—hymn by helen h. lemmel, 1922