Believing is Seeing
Reaching for the sun
Reaching for the son
Reaching for the song
In order to be sung.
I was on retreat at the Downing House with the staff of Mile High Ministries where I have served as their chaplain now for over ten years. I love it here. Though we are in the midst of the city of Denver, the Downing House offers a quiet, peaceful, secluded respite for a much- needed time for renewal and rest. During the day, we had time set aside for a contemplative walk. It was in the low 70’s; the sun was out in the midst of our blue skies. It truly was heavenly. Our purpose on this walk was to find the one thing which grabbed our attention and sit with it as our meditation focal point. After centering ourselves, we left the building as each one sensed they were ready to begin. These tulips caught me as soon as I left the walk- way. I first stood with them until I gave in to sit in their presence. Oh, spring- time at the Downing House is a rich experience.
There is strength in the base and the stem of the Tulip. It is strong and covered with a protective outer coat to fend off any hungry insects. Its leafy underside is designed to catch its fuel from the son. Her cupped shape seemed to me to be invitation to look inside. Who could resist? Not I! Such beauty awaited me. Shades of orange poured gently to form the inside of her art. There are three long red triangular-like shapes reaching forward from her base. What a fine-looking triad calling my attention to the Trinity, I thought. Then at the very center another triad, this time, yellow with its points perfectly aligned with the larger red triad.
I was taken back to St. Patrick’s sharing of the three-leaf clover to teach the Irish about the Trinity. Ha! I thought to myself, this Celtic Christianity is living inside of me, getting right past my rational, reasonable, logical way of looking at the world. Do I think this is weird, odd, or peculiar at times? If I’m honest I guess at times I do think that, privately. But it’s me. Now. I like the Celtic Way of seeing. I like the Celtic Way of seeing God in all living things. I feel God’s presence in ways I never knew were available to me before. Hopefully, this will translate into all the other places in my life. For as the world is filled with the presence of the creator, it is revelatory, sacred, and gift. I have a renewed responsibility with all of this.
As I stood to head back inside, I looked to say good-bye for now. Then I laughed. The two tulips standing next to one another seemed to form one set of eyes looking back at me. I believe I “had a special moment” with God right there. I was “seeing” the presence embodied in the tulip. Perhaps God was seeing me in return.
In Christ, Father Scott