Marge Fenelon

There was a glorious sunrise outside my dining room window this morning. It was one of those amazing clear sky arrays of color that draws your eyes simply because of its brilliance. And to think I almost missed it!

I had gotten up early to get some extra work time in before the kids got up for school and had shuffled from the home office into the kitchen-dining area to pour myself another cup of coffee in hopes of jerking myself awake enough to be productive. As I was pouring coffee into my cup, I caught a splotch color out of the corner of my eye streaking in through the dining room window blinds. I went in, pulled up the blinds, and my eyes met with the most beautiful view. I was so enamored by it, that I just had to sit on the edge of the dining room table and watch until the colors began to fade into full daylight.

When it's been as cold as it has been here in the Midwest, I tend never to look out the windows in the morning. I just don't want to be reminded of how frigid the air is out there. That's kind of silly, I know, because ignoring it won't make it go away. But somehow not being reminded of it makes me feel warmer and safer inside.

What made this morning different? It was that momentary gleam that caught my eye and drew me to itself. Had it not been for that, I would have missed the sunrise entirely.

Aren't we all like that at one time or another? Somehow, we get it in our heads that if we ignore the things that we perceive as being unpleasant they'll just go away and we won't have to deal with them. But if we look more closely, we can find an amazing array of color within them. The trick is to let the gleam catch our eye and then pause long enough to take in the beauty.

Advent is like that. We can perceive Advent as being something unpleasant because often we get so tangled up in the push and pull of Christmas preparations that we develop an aversion to the season. With all of the demands and obligations that are piled up on us during this time, we can begin to wish we could just leave the blinds closed and not look out. Maybe it all will just go away.

It won't, of course. Advent is here and Christmas is coming whether we like it or not. However, if we can open our eyes, we’ll notice that there are splotches of color all around us just waiting for us to notice them. Once we notice them, our eyes will be met with most beautiful view. The splotches come in many forms: the child gazing in awe at the dazzling Christmas decorations, store clerk who packs our merchandise with care rather than just tossing the items in the bag, the driver who lets us squeeze in before him on a busy roadway, the Christmas card from a distant friend, the tiny whispers within our hearts of longing for the Christ Child. All these and more are right there, waiting for us to catch the gleam and pause to admire the beauty.

Topics: Advent & Christmas , Faith , Liturgical Year , Meditations

Marge Fenelon is a Catholic author, columnist, and speaker. She's the author of When's God Gonna Show Up? and When's God Gonna Call Me Back? (Liguori Publications) and a regular columnist for the Milwaukee Catholic Herald. She and her husband, Mark, have four mostly-grown children and are members of the International Schoenstatt Movement. Visit her website at www.margefenelon.com

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April 23, 2014

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