""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Window Cleaning

"We're all shut up in rooms.  Everybody.  And nobody can ever get in to anybody else's room.  That's because we've got bodies.  And the only way we can have contact with people is through the windows in our rooms. . . And some people have more windows than others.  And everybody's windows get dirty.  So there need to be window cleaners."   Felix to Katherine in Madeleine L'Engle's "The Small Rain"

The windows to our souls - the windows through which we view the world and the world views each of us, as Felix says - these windows get dirty.  Maybe there are objects in our windows, too, as there are in my kitchen window.  They don't necessarily obstruct the view but they may affect our perspective.

The short passage from "The Small Rain"  had me thinking of all the obstacles to community, to understanding and caring for one another -  to seeing each other through our windows.  Is it only dirt and objects in the windows that keep us from seeing and knowing each other?  Don't we also close the blinds and draw the shades on ourselves to keep others out?  At other times we seem to hang mirrors in our windows so that we don't see out at all, we only see a reflection of ourselves.

Our windows are clouded and dirty or even shuttered with prejudice, pain, fear, and countless other things.  We're isolated. We are helpless to clean or open our own windows.  Our relationships and communities suffer.  Yet we want to belong and be loved, we long to connect.  We need to see and be seen for who we truly are.  

We're not capable of cleaning these windows on our own.  We need God's help.  We need the tools he can provide:  a listening ear, a compassionate heart, a forgiving spirit, unconditional love.  We can allow ourselves to be God's window washing tools.  When we are willing to forgive and be forgiven, to share ourselves and to listen, to love without reservation - then we will see each other and the world more clearly.

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. " — Rachel Naomi Remen

In her book, "My Grandfather's Blessings",  Remen writes about her grandfather's death and her realization that he had taught her what it means to be blessed:

"At first I was afraid that without him to see me, and tell God who I was, I might disappear. But slowly over time I came to understand that in some mysterious way, I had learned to see myself through his eyes. And that once blessed, we are blessed forever."

Bless and be blessed.  Wash some windows.

1 comment:

Cornell said...

I have been reading a lot of stuff about window cleaning, but it is different presented, i loved to read this. keep it up