"Two steps forward, one step back"when asked how we are doing in some area or other.
If we are feeling particularly disheartened we increase the amount of backward steps so they outnumber the forward ones.
No matter the proportions, all those steps in reverse are meant to be viewed negatively.
Papa has a different perspective.
I am coming to realize, contrary to popular opinion, that He does not view life in black and white/good and bad.
He sees all the little nuances that we can tend to overlook in our striving to put everything in neat little categories.
Let me illustrate.
Each spring many of us eagerly plop ourselves down with trowel in hand and begin to play in the dirt
After the soil is prepared we begin planting. We may begin with seeds. Yet, whether seeds or small plants, we know we must wait.
Digging up those seeds or plants to see what is happening or relocating them, in hopes of faster results, would not be wise or productive.
So we wait.
We water and then feed as appropriate.
And we wait......hoping that they are good seeds and plants.
Some will prove disappointing.
Others will produce a little, while others a great abundance.
Jesus spoke of this aspect in the Parable of the Sower, but that is not where I am going today.
It isn't the direction Papa has been taking me.
Some things take longer to germinate; some take a long time to grow into anything worthy of note.
Life and growth are in the process.
I believe Papa loves that process.
Of course, He has an advantage over us.
He sees that little seed softening and then opening up to the moisture and soil.
He watches as a tiny little shoot forms within that seed and then slowly breaks its way out of the covering.
It isn't until it breaks through the earth that we get to see the progress, but He sees every bit of that tiny life and it is beautiful to Him.
Translate that into our lives and the lives of those around us.
The Omniscient One see the tiny seed begin to germinate in hearts working its way through all the cracks and hard places long before we have any clue.
He sees the beauty and life.
Though it may be buried very deeply.
My dear Papa is teaching me to look for the hints of beauty and life that are buried in each and every life and event.
I spent some time with two who are very dear to me.
In the past I had a hard time getting past the amount of alcohol that was consumed by both of them.
By applying some thing I have learned from ALANON I found myself in a place where I could see beyond the obvious.
What is this lesson that I could apply in this situation?
The Three C's, which is: I did not Cause the alcoholism, nor can I Control it and certainly can not Cure it.
This thinking really is applicable to all kinds of situations!
In the past I would view the whole thing as dark and hopeless. This kind of thinking kept me weighed down and blind to any good that I might have found.
Once I was settled into this new, healthful way of thinking I was delighted to discover that there were definitely good, beautiful aspects to discover in these precious lives.
The two of them are still in love after over twenty years of marriage.
Now that is something beautiful!
They now have a new home which has brought out the creativity of one of them and brought a greater degree of contentment to the other.
Spending time with them I caught glimpses of some of what is going on in their hearts, longings, fears, hopes peeked out hear and there. All because I was relaxed and accepting.
As these truths opened up for me I realized how much I miss when I fall back into my black and white world. Truth be told, to fall into the "white" category it must be perfect, which explains why I spent so much time feeling gloomy and hopeless, as well as heavy laden!
Papa looks upon all of us with eyes of love. He looks for every hint of life and growth and nurtures it.
May I see with His eyes and following His example be a nurturer of life!