A phrase in my reading captures my attention—walk gently in this world.—and I spend some time thinking about what it means.
In my mind, I return to an antique shop we once visited in a small town in Alberta (Why that one comes to mind is a mystery, we have visited many such shops over the years.) I remember the careful, slow and intentional, path I took through the shop as I observed and appreciated old wooden furniture, whimsical trinkets, beautiful china and glassware. I remember the satisfying sound of my steps on the wooden floor. I remember the sense of calm I felt as I walked in wonder, just observing and appreciating.
And I think that the way I was in the antique shop is the way I might want to be everywhere, at all times.
There is so much wonder in the beautiful world crafted by our Creator. How can I do anything but appreciate the many facets of it? Sadly, it doesn’t take much to distract me from appreciating the gifts of every day. I can do better. I want to do better. I want to walk gently, experiencing the gifts of creation, and the love of the Creator. I want to let my mind meander “back up the sunbeam to the sun”, as C.S. Lewis said, in adoration of God.
I want to hold gently the precious hearts of those who are in my sphere, to be faithful in both prayer and practicality. I drop the ball sometimes, too often most likely. I can do better here too. I can walk a gentler and more caring path despite my human limitations. We are all fragile, kind of like those beautiful china dishes; we all need someone to walk gently alongside us now and then.
Walking gently means listening, more than speaking. Praying more than pushing. Paying attention to simple, ordinary moments and asking, as Frederick Buechner did, “What was there in it of God?”. And then, in seeing God’s hand, offering praise and ascribing honour, and telling (or writing) about it. It is listening, paying attention, being still, and being filled so that you can pour out. It is living one good day at a time.
It is my intention and, while I don’t always do it well, at the start of each day I begin again to try.