Saturday, January 17, 2009

windows of the soul

I'm just starting Ken Gire's book, Windows of the Soul. At first glance, it's a little more touchy-feely than a book I'd normally pick up. But the first chapter begins with an arresting Normal Rockwell portrait, Girl in the Mirror. There's a young girl sitting before a mirror propped on the floor, her mother's lipstick opened beside her, her doll askew on the floor as if she'd been dropped suddenly and forgotten, a magazine opened on her lap turned to a picture of Jane Russell. 

The girl is poised on the precipice of adolescence, not yet a woman but still a girl. And of course I can't help but think of my two daughters and how fast this world wants to grow them up. In two months, Audrey will eight. She's still very much a girl, living imaginatively with her dolls who, day to day, break their legs or arms or get colds and fevers. For Christmas, her absolutely favorite gift (besides the ice-skating lessons) was the $7 pair of doll glasses for her American Girl, and now she swears Elizabeth looks nothing like herself without her glasses.

She reads Anne of Green Gables and loves learning and repeating the eccentric words Anne employs with relish. "Camille, you are SO exasperating!" Her newest word, from the pages of The Little Princess, which we're reading together as a family, is "amiability." "Mrs. Dospoy (who is her teacher) is amiability," Audrey declares proudly. Well, good try.

Yesterday, Nathan said something theologically profound. His mind is amazing, how he teases out the implications of what I teach him and say. He wasn't excited about a family coming over to play - the boys are older, and he admitted to feeling intimidated by that. I explained that he needed to be friendly and warm, greeting them at the door by name when they came over. "But I can't do that," he said. Yes, you can, I insisted, especially with God's help. So we prayed together, he asking God to help him be friendly when they came over. Here's where it gets good. 

I ask him again, "So, do you think you can be friendly when they get here now?" 
"What do you mean? We just prayed about it." 
"Well, if I can't, it's going to be God's fault now."

Out of the mouths of babes. . .

I'll close with quote from the Gire book. 
"Windows of the soul is a way of seeing that begins with respect. The way we show respect is to give it a second look, a look not of the eyes but of the heart. But so often we don't give something a second look because we don't think there is anything there to see.
To respect something is to understand that there is something there to see, that it is not all surface, that something lies beneath the surface, something that has the power to change the way we think or feel, something that may prove so profound a revelation as to change not only how we look at our lives but how we live them.
Jesus lived His life that way, seeing beyond the pictures of the widow at Nain and the woman at the well, of the tax collector in the tree and the thief on the cross, of the rich man and Lazarus."

By God's grace, here's to a new day of seeing and of respecting the work of God in our midst.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

I can't wait to see what your kids become...they are so stinkin' smart!