Yesterday, I experienced a glory sighting as it relates to our use of technology.
We had another visit to the doctor to check on the progress of our baby, which we are affectionately calling “Little Fry” until it is born. Doctors offices, even when I’m not the one being evaluated, are always a stressful encounter for me. This time, though, was something quite different. It was a holy moment.
We got to see our baby.
The first ultrasound was a rough experience and we didn’t get much of a view of our child. This time, though, we were able to see its movement, activity, and its gigantic head! Yes, all babies have a big head … but this thing was huge!
It was awesome to see and experience.
This was not our first ultrasound, nor child, but I was still struck at the ability of technology to see a glimpse of the handiwork of God’s creation. The doctor rolled in this portable device that looked almost as a big as my iPad. Within a few moments, there was our child live and in a digital image for us to see and admire. There is a blessing to be able to peek in and see what is developing, while looking ahead to what is to come.
That is a miracle of God, and perhaps even a call for us to pay attention.
I wonder how often we miss the handiwork of God in our midst, because we are focused on an end result and not the presence of God through it all. Do we miss signs of incremental spiritual growth, because we are waiting for someone to experience their own “Aldersgate experience?” Do we miss moments of mercy, because we are waiting for the completed work of justice and reconciliation? Do we miss moments of hope, because we are waiting for the entire world to be healed?
God is always at work in our midst, but it is easy for us to get focused on a desired destination that we miss sight of that. I know this is true for me. I can get so distracted by being impatient for April 2020 to come that I miss the moments of grace and excitement of a new child in our midst. As well, I can become so focused on the goal of deeper discipleship and ministry in our community that I can miss the signs of growth in our midst.
We can all do this. So, what reminder might we need to claim to see God at work in the small moments of life as we await the larger ones.
Perhaps the Prologue from the Gospel of John can be of help. There we see John write, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:9, NLT) That light is the presence of God’s holy love. Sometimes that light shines as bright as the morning sun. Sometimes that light in the midst of darkness is a small flickering light that is hard to see or make out, but yet it is there.
Just because we may not be able to see the small moments of God doesn’t mean there are none to focus upon. It just means we need to pay attention to those small moments that are all around us.
What can enable us to pay attention to the light of God more is the spiritual practices of our faith. Reading Scripture enables us to see how God’s grace has been experienced among our spiritual ancestors. Having an active prayer life helps to be in constant communion and conversation with God. Being present in worship enables us to spend every moment of our lives in praise of the Lord. Sharing communion at the table allows us to focus upon God’s grace that comes through small and mighty gifts. Giving of our time, money, and energy enables us to participates in the small moments of God’s grace in ways that are often tangible.
We could go on.
God is always at work. Sometimes it is through the gift of technology. Sometimes it is through the presence of hope in small victories. We just need the eyes to see and ears to hear to be able to pay attention to look for the moments of God’s grace that is all around us.