Saturday, October 31, 2015

Only She Who Sees

From "Aurora Leigh"
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
      Earth's crammed with heaven,
      And every common bush afire with God,
      But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
      The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

Love life. See good days. Every day. Today.

Friday, October 30, 2015

First Observe, Then Serve

A few weeks ago, when I was putting my lunch bag in the office refrigerator, the administrative assistant on our floor called my attention to the boxes of soda she'd recently purchased. She pointed to a box of Diet Coke with Lime, saying that they were specifically for me. She had noticed that, when I bring a can of soda from home, it's always Diet Coke with Lime, and she acted upon what she'd seen. I felt good that someone had seen me—and not just seen but done something about it.

In October 2012, Linda K. Burton said:
To help us better love one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: "First observe, then serve."

Whether it is something minor like a preference for Diet Coke with Lime or something big like disaster relief efforts, seeing people is the first step to loving them.

Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles asserts the following:
God has created us to love, and love is the natural response when we take the time to truly see and know another person. If the first step toward loving our neighbor is seeing them, perhaps the first step toward seeing them is taking time to look. Maybe we can’t really see people as we drive by or rush through our to-do list. Perhaps love comes with time, and not just the other way around.

See people. Take time to look.

Burton, Linda K. "First Observe, Then Serve." Ensign, November 2012.
"Time to See." Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles, February 23, 2015.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Worship is a way of seeing the world
in the light of God."
          ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Antelope Canyon (Arizona). June 2005.
© 2005 Alison Walker

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Walking By Faith

Cedar Breaks National Monument.
© 2015 Alison Walker

Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known.
Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which
there is confirming evidence.
Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown.
Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light,
and then a few steps into the darkness.
                - Boyd K. Packer

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"One Step Enough for Me"

I am a planner by nature. For a number of years I used a Day-Timer® system, and then, after I moved to Utah, I switched to a Franklin Planner. At the beginning of 2008, I started transitioning away from a paper-based system by using a Google Calendar. That's what I now use exclusively—and I've got my family members using Google Calendars as well, so that we can readily coordinate. Each Sunday evening we review our calendars for the coming week, and that planning session is truly what keeps our family sane and functioning.

Walking by faith, however, doesn't always go according to a plan. I am not always able to anticipate and prepare for the coming week—or month or even hour. Though I long to see what lies ahead, I cannot always do so. As Boyd K. Packer has said, "Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness."

One of my favorite hymns, written in 1833 by John Henry Newman, reminds me of this truth while also comforting me that the Kindly Light that is Jesus will lead me on:
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

Gibbons, Larry W. Quoting Boyd K. Packer, "A Time for Faith, Not Fear." Ensign, July 2013.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Just Another Ordinary Miracle Today

Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Salt Lake City. November 2008.
© 2008 Alison Walker

Sunday, October 25, 2015

#SundayScripture (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life.

Near Evanston, Wyoming. June 2015.
© 2015 Alison Walker