Updated: Jun 22, 2021
I think about the wonder of creation often…especially when I’m in the thick of it. I am easily awed. During our week in Sedona AZ, I was in awe every day! We were at a trailhead before sunrise each morning to hike up a different mountain and watch what happens when the sun comes up and illuminates the red rock formations from that day’s unique vantage point. In the soft light of dawn, we could see well enough to follow the trails with a backdrop of an outline of distant peaks against a deep blue sky.
As the sun rose, shadows shifted, the sunlight peeked, then crept, then poured over to reveal the details and colors of the rocks, The focal points continually changed as the sun made its way up into the sky. It’s amazing what light can do! Black shapes became gigantic red rock formations with layers in varying shades of red, brown and beige. Colors came to life in the varying shades of green in trees & grasses, and cacti with red, yellow and purple flowers! It was marvelous. It was magical. It was…worthy of praise!
How can a person witness such majesty and not feel the presence of a grand architect?
For me, God is the Grand Architect – the Creator of the universe, heaven, and earth – oceans, mountains, deserts, rivers & lakes, trees, grass, fruits, flowers, weeds, giant whales & tiny fish, beautiful animals, funny-looking animals, birds, insects (creepy or cute), microscopic organisms. He created our sun and moon, set the earth spinning and created seasons and weather. He created man, then woman. He created me. He created you. And He loves His creations.
Sitting on the edge of a mesa and watching the earth’s colors come to life as the shadows shifted with the sunrise was like looking into God’s kaleidoscope at its changing patterns.
Which got Dean and I thinking…
What if our lives could be seen in a kaleidoscope? What if God gave each one of us an instrument that would allow us to see a reflection of ourselves? I pick mine up, look through the eye hole, and see pieces of glass, rocks, beads, etc. These represent my experiences and emotions. Some are brightly colored, some are soft pastels, and some are dark. New experiences add new pieces – new colors and depth – all the time. None of them are perfect. They are chipped or broken simply because I am an imperfect human. There are mirrors as well, although they aren’t really noticed, because when those imperfect pieces sit against the mirrors, God creates an infinite number of patterns to see, and all are unique to me, just as yours are unique to you! Each pattern is there only for the present moment because the slightest movement of the scope causes the pattern to change.
How I’m feeling when I’m looking at my life-kaleidoscope will have a profound effect on what I see. If I’m in a good mood, I’ll see the bright colors, intricate shapes, and the beauty of my life. But what if I’m feeling sad, upset, or angry? Then my perception may be that the colors are dull, even dark and gloomy. The shapes I see may be interpreted as chaotic, not pleasing at all. I may even “see” frightening shapes in the patterns. My emotional state affects what I perceive. The good news is that I control my emotions, and I can change my perspective.
So, I twist the end to move the pieces around. Each twist reveals a new pattern, a new opportunity to discover patterns within my life. But the twist doesn’t always come from me. Instead, movement also comes from the Holy Spirit, who twists the end of the kaleidoscope to reveal new patterns for me to explore. It may point me to something that I need to learn or change, prompt me to do something for someone in need, show me that there is hope when I need it, demonstrate how blessed I am, and so much more. The Holy Spirit moves to help me see how God is working in my life.
I know that the patterns are always there, constantly changing with each new day, and all I have to do is look through the lens to see them. But sometimes when life is hard, I may point the kaleidoscope down, facing the ground. It may seem heavy and dark, and very little light can get into the chamber…I might not even want to lift it up. When Dustin died, it was dark for Dean and I…very, very dark. Looking into the lens, a shadow had passed between us and the light, like a solar eclipse…a shadow of death. We had to search for the colorful pieces – the assurances and precious memories that kept our hearts from going pitch black. We knew that to see the true beauty within, we needed light. So, we held our kaleidoscopes up and pointed the ends toward the Light…toward Jesus. Jesus is the Light! His Light began to slowly move the shadow away. When I held my kaleidoscope up facing into the Light of Jesus, His glory shone through the opaque end and beauty came back, slowly at first, but then it burst through, much like the sun rising on the mountains! I drew closer to Him, and He wrapped me in His loving arms.
Had it not been for that precious Light of Jesus, we could have stayed in the darkness for a long time. But we didn’t. Of course, there are times when the shadow creeps back in – grief never totally disappears – but we keep focused on Jesus and the shadow is replaced with His Light every time. We keep adding new bright and colorful bits and pieces – time with Derek & Kate, having Olivia come visit for a few days, sharing memories of Dustin with each other and laughing about them, taking trips to places that are inspiring – all the while holding our kaleidoscopes up to the light and ooo-ing and aah-ing at the blessings that dance before our eyes!
When you look at your life through your unique kaleidoscope, what do you see? What beautiful shapes and patterns is God creating for you? What is the Holy Spirit revealing for you? Open your heart and eyes to see. Have fun and be blessed as you explore them!
I started this blog with God’s creation and to finish, let’s go back to it. God created kaleidoscopes because He created its inventor, Sir David Brewster, who named his invention after the Greek words kalos (beautiful), eidos (form), and scopos (watcher). So, kaleidoscope roughly translates to “beautiful form watcher”. God wants us to see our life the way He sees it and knows it can be – beautiful despite our bad choices and mistakes. He wants us to be beautiful form watchers, but He is the ultimate beautiful form watcher, and YOU are one of the forms He is watching! How cool is THAT?!
I’ll finish with a quick moment of WOW from Sedona. We had climbed to the top of a mesa called Doe Mountain one morning. Sitting near the edge watching the sunrise show, we heard loud noises and looked to the west to see what they were. We saw hot air balloons rising from the ground past the other end of the mesa. So off we went to see them better. As we got close to that end, we could see 6 different balloons, all green & yellow but with different patterns (fitting, don’t you think?). The sounds were the fire bursts that caused them to ascend. Then I heard voices below me! A balloon peeked up from below the edge of the mesa just 30 or 40 yards from where I stood! I said “good morning!” and we waived to each other. It floated up, over a bit, then descended below the other side of the mesa. It was amazing…standing on a mountain and looking DOWN at the TOP of a hot air balloon!
That was SOOOO COOL!!!