There is a window I look out through from time to time. During those hot sticky days of summer, the view did not impress me. It is a view with plenty of foliage, some flowers, a baseball diamond in the distance. But all of this looked strangely muted and uninviting in the heavy air of those 100 degree days. I had no compulsion to go out there.
Then, one day in September, when a front had passed through and all the stale, polluted, over-heated air was gone, I happened to look out there from that window! The leaves were so green. All images within my sight stood out in clear contrast. Nothing looked hazy or dull, but sharp and crisp. It all looked inviting and I was full of compulsion to go out there and be in the midst of it all.
In this world of strife, suspicion, name calling, political nastiness, terrorism, suffering—there is so much haze of a different, but no less off-putting sort filling the scenes of life. It all seems so uninviting. I confess my mental mood during some of those hot summer days matched my physical mood in response to the heavy polluted air enveloping that scene beyond my window.
But when the fresh air of God’s love got to me it changed what I saw in the world. When the dust and fall-out of our human struggles are blown away so that we can clearly see the love of God at work, what a remarkable difference it makes! I remember one particular Sunday morning---9/11 Sunday, in fact---that happened to me. The service focused on ways God’s saving love worked in human lives to lift and clear the dust, tears, agonies and struggles of that day. And I gave thanks for a world at the heart of which are not the explosions and hatreds of war, but the redeeming power of God’s love at work.
I share with you the prayer the writer of the letter to the Ephesians offers for us all: “I pray that you may have power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19)