The Fog And The Nearness
The sunlight is just breaking over the horizon and I stumble to the stove. The familiar routine ensues as I fill the kettle with water and ignite the stove. The promise of hot coffee not far off.
I fill the French press with water and step out onto the porch to throw the remaining grounds of yesterday into the garden – I 've been told flowers like this ritual bestowal of used grounds.
As I fling the grounds outward and downward, I am stirred out of my sleep-induced stupor, and called to attention by the presence of thick fog enveloping the surrounding landscape.
The world is somehow transformed.
I see the near tree line, but no further. The fog veils the trees on the far side of the pasture this morning. They are invisible to my eyes. The cloud that has descended on this Blue Ridge mountain wraps around me and hides the surrounding mountains.
I feel it on my skin. I can taste it in the air. Cool, damp and impenetrable, the fog surrounds me.
What lies beyond my sight? Just beyond the near trees?
I know the familiar landscape. I know where the road is and the pasture. I know where the tree line is and the small underdeveloped garden that lies a bit further down the hill.
But, my inability to see challenges my mind. Are they still there? Surely they must be, but I have no way to confirm my belief from my vantage point in the fog.
Many days, my life feels like this foggy morning.
I know the nearness of the Father, Son and Spirit. I have experienced his presence in beautiful, personal ways. I have seen his goodness in my life. Yet, somehow the fog of life and the cares of this world can so easily blind my faith and challenge my trust.
Is he really there? Is he really involved in my life?
Why does my inability to see cause me to doubt what I know?
Perhaps the fog is not an obstacle to overcome, but rather a gift to be enjoyed. This foggy morning has limited my ability to see more than a few feet in front of me.
The fog of life that I often feel can be received as a gift that encourages me to live fully in the present.
To look and to see those near me.
To pay attention to the world around me.
To love my wife and daughters.
To believe and to trust him with my doubts.
We all see through a glass dimly, but we are not blind. We are all able to live in the grace for each day. Love fully, trust recklessly and rejoice always. The One who “makes the clouds his chariot and who walks upon the wings of the wind” is near.
The kettle whistles and calls my attention back to coffee making. I head back into the kitchen, grind the beans and breathe deeply. The smell of fresh ground coffee is a magical moment and it calls me to celebrate the simple things in life.
Celebrate what I can see – and touch and taste – and leave the things that I cannot see to the care of the One who is ever-near and ever-faithful.