Those of us living near the coast know one of our seasons consists of a good number of grey days. Tucked between winter and the blazing days of summer there is what we call “May grey” which soon becomes “June gloom.” It is a thing. And for some, me among them, “May grey” can give us the blues. Today was steeped in grey.
Yet, as I took an early morning walk along the coast, I noticed the subtle beauty of this grey day. There were many shades of grey. Nuanced color and light swept across sea and sky. It was beautiful. I had literally just finished reading one of David’s most beloved and poetic writings, Psalm 19. It is one of my favorites. I like to imagine him as a boy, sleeping out under open skies, night after night, while he tended his father’s sheep, in awe of the beauty of God’s creation spread out in a grand display. “The skies declare the glory of God.” This psalm speaks of God in all of His revealed grandeur and majesty. Creation spoke to David, as it spoke to me today, many centuries later. Here I was, noticing God’s creative presence all around me. It was a gift and I felt the grey day blues lift.
Thinking of all of this, I remembered yesterday, reading in the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament where I noticed (once again) one of those tiny, though important and pivotal words: YET. I was struck then, as I was again today, with the revelation: I get to choose. There is always the YET.
Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations) was in a dire situation. He was suffering. But nevertheless he began to look beyond. He wrote of his woes, but then he penned the word YET and began to ruminate on the love and mercy of God, which can be found in every day, in many things. This is what Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:19-24:
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is
bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
YET I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in Him!”
Sometimes we just need to shift our gaze a bit and look around. I am a big believer in lament. I feel it is actually important to the health of our souls to be honest with what is going on with us, in good times as well as hard times. So we must be careful that in our finding the “yet” we don’t use it to lead us into unhealthy denial of our sorrows which do come our way at times. We must grieve properly. It can be helpful though, to look for the “yet,” to find things we can notice and cling to in the midst of the circumstances we find ourselves in when we are hurting.
It is always good to find our way to hope. To dare to hope.
Circumstances are often slow to change but knowing God’s mercy is present with the dawn of each new day, trusting His love, mercy, and faithfulness can change everything. It can be a subtle but profound shift as we open up and see God is indeed all around us, with us, and even in us, even when things may be difficult.
I took the beauty I found this morning with me into my day with a new mindset, a joy that only God can provide. The grey does have a beauty all it’s own if only I have eyes to look. And really see.
Questions For Reflection
- Ask the Lord to help you notice what you notice. Notice where your focus is (without judging yourself). This can be very enlightening, a helpful ongoing practice.
- How might what you are focusing on be contributing (or not) to your sense of well-being?
- Think about where have you seen beauty lately. This can be in tangible or intangible ways. How might noticing God’s mercy and grace in the little things around you change your mindset, your perspective, your heart?