Thursday, January 21, 2010

Windows

Nope. I won't be discussing that software that made Bill Gates so wealthy. Although I use it every day there are plenty of techie blogs out there to tell you about the ins, outs, and "what nots" of whatever version of the desktop software you might be using.

Instead I want to talk about "windows of the soul" which happens to be the title of a book written by Ken Gire that I am currently reading. My mother actually loaned this to me about two years ago after reading it for herself. She naturally thought of me given that throughout the book the author uses artwork, stories of artists, and the creative process in general to illustrate how God attempts to communicate with us and how we attempt to reach out for God.

In Mr. Gire's words, "We reach for God in many ways. Through our sculptures and our Scriptures. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He reaches for us....But we must learn to look with more than just our eyes and listen with more than just our ears. We must be aware, at all times and in all places, because windows are everywhere, and at any time we may find one. Or one may find us."

Now before you become turned off lest you think I'm about to thump the Good Book over your head for awhile I ask that you please keep reading. I truly believe there is a message here regardless of your spiritual beliefs or lack of them. Even though my mom was anxious for me to read Windows of the Soul two years ago I honestly wasn't prepared to read it until recently when I made a significant attitude adjustment. In fact my mother has probably completely forgotten that she loaned me this text.

For a small part of the book Mr. Gire writes about his own journey toward becoming a writer; something he thoroughly enjoyed doing but never dreaming he'd make a career of it. I can totally relate to his experience. Ten years ago I thought my own career path was set in doing something that paid the bills but left my heart and soul empty. So many years before I should have been looking for one of those windows.

Even though I'm still roughly halfway through reading Windows I've already drawn some conclusions. First and foremost it is never too late to change career paths or even to make huge life-changing choices. Usually these are huge "picture windows" with opportunity along with opposition obscuring the the grand view. Trust me I have made one of these within the past decade.

Probably more important though are those smaller windows - ones that offer just a glimpse of the backyard of your life or the view of familiar things not far down the road you usually travel. Those windows are not as inviting but can be just as life-changing as the one that offers the scenery of a mountain valley or a sea shore. Within the last 6 weeks I have paid closer attention to them and I can truly say many windows around me have been opening and closing: some of them good...some of them not so good.

From the very beginning of Ben's experiences with the rest of the world one thing has remained clear: our son wants to not only exit our home at times but to leap or even crash through those windows that surround him. The hummingbirds and finches that feed outside his therapy room...the cars and trucks that pass our living room window panes...the waves crashing to the shore that he has seen from my mother's beach home back porch. Each of them has been an invitation to to experience life in a way Ben is not accustomed to but is ready, willing, but not able to. There are times I am thankful for the seat belt on his wheelchair. There are other times that I am not.

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