Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, “whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,” by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, “Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,” and he would have meant the same thing.
John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
It’s so easy to look through my own peephole, the one that fuels and is fuelled by my doubts and fears. The one that sees mostly what I judge to be lacking. The one that doesn’t trust—trust myself, trust other people, or the universe—all the places God is.
I fear that things won’t work out. I doubt that others are capable of figuring out what is right. The bottom line is that I tell myself a story of woe instead of living the story of grace.
So, for today, I want to widen my lens. To wander a bit…
Today is the first day of Advent, a time of being open and waiting to see. Once again, I will begin this journey.
In the lectionary passages for today (Isaiah 2:1-5 & Matthew 24:37-44), I was guided to see that those people, the Israelites and the disciples, were waiting, too. And just like me, they were looking around through their fear and uncertainty. I like to think that the message that the Prophet Isaiah and Jesus taught them was to wait and watch through another peephole.
Four years ago at the beginning of Advent, I wrote that I’d asked God for guidance to let go of the fear that undergirded the subtle things I did and said in my desperation to manage how I saw others. That way of seeing tears down people and relationships rather than build them. What keeps me from looking through that other peephole?