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If you see something, say something.

Posted on May 1, 2023

Reflection by Anita Davidson, OPA

I often meet my friend Molly for a shared walk with our dogs. 

Molly is an avid and gifted naturalist. There isn’t a plant species that she can’t identify nor a bird she can’t name. I only know a very few birds – the obvious ones – bluejay, cardinal, Canada goose, robin; and even fewer plants. Walking with Molly in a metro park or even in my own neighborhood is always a lesson in horticulture. We’ll be moving along at a good clip trying to get our heart rates up and suddenly she’ll stop dead and, with a delighted “OH LOOK!” and rush to what appears to me to be general undergrowth along the path, pointing out a tiny little spring beauty nearly hidden in the grass.  She pulls out her phone and takes a close-up photo, and then sees some other delightful little new growth springing up that she’ll point out to me. In the fall we’ll come upon an open field and she’ll stop in total awe with a quiet “Ohhhhh…I just love how the purple ironweed and bright yellow goldenrod bloom around the same time and create this colorful meadow after everything else has gone to seed. Together they make the most beautiful bouquets!” Walking with Molly has opened my eyes in new ways to the wonders of the natural world and now I can’t NOT see them!

“…the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing… There was great joy in that city. (Acts)

“Come and see the works of God, [God’s] tremendous deeds…” (Psalm 66)

“everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life…” (John)

How often we look but don’t really see what’s right before us – literally and figuratively!  In the reading from Acts today, the people of Jerusalem, and Saul, had Jesus and then his disciples right in front of them doing and saying the same things they’d do later in Samaria but the people of Jerusalem couldn’t truly see them because their own fear of something new and unexpected blinded them to the deeper reality.  Those same disciples had spent years with Jesus – in his physical presence – and still they didn’t really understand, couldn’t really see the deeper meaning of his mission, or theirs.

What tremendous works of God are we missing in our own lives?  What are we not paying attention to? What is preventing us from seeing and believing and rejoicing in it all?

It seems to me that all of us need a “Molly” in our lives: someone whose senses have been sharpened to see the little spring beauties of life hidden by the more mundane stuff; someone who knows about and so notices how life’s goldenrod and asters bloom together and create one last colorful and vibrant tableau before the cold weather sends everything into drab dormancy. We need a “Molly” to stop us dead and share their delight, wonder and awe so that maybe we can see and feel it too! It’s the gift of community that raises our consciousness, each person pointing out to the other something that might have been overlooked, gone unnoticed that has the potential to reveal the glory of God in our midst. Our individual uniqueness, the particular ways that each of us sees the world, our own special expertise are the gifts we provide for the community, and we have the responsibility, the duty and the privilege of sharing it with others.  It may be exactly what the rest of us needs to notice. If you see something, say something.  We can’t afford to assume that everyone sees what we see or notices the same things that we do.  We need each other’s vision and voice and passion to enable all of us to fully join the rest of creation: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!

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