open my eyes

There is a tree outside my bedroom window.

It’s full of blooming, vibrant purple flowers. It’s the brightest purple I’ve seen in my life. I love opening my window every morning, I love that when I study I can look up and find such beauty within reach.

Yesterday I was going for a walk and ended up on a path some distance behind the house. As I was turning around to walk back, I stopped.

All I could see were the bright purple flowers.

Our backyard has a fence taller than me. I wasn’t walking near my house. And yet, clear as day, the tree. In part, what made it stand out was all the houses next to mine that I could see didn’t have any colour bursting from over the fence. I could see some green, but mostly it was just beige fence and brick walls.

It makes the purple flowers even more special. I love that pop of colour, how it draws my eye.

When I first moved in at the end of February, the tree didn’t have an flowers blooming. You could see some buds, but I didn’t really notice it. I thought it was nice to have a tree by the window, but I didn’t think much of it.

And then I woke up one morning and it was covered in petals and now I spend everyday looking at it in awe.

It’s this that reminds me of God’s love. It’s this that reminds me how God knows me better than I know myself.

When I was in the process of moving, it never occurred to me to look for a house with a tree by the window. Sure, I love flowers and I knew I wanted plants, but trees weren’t on my radar.

This is a gift from God. It is an outpouring of His love. He gave this to me, knowing how much I would love it, when I didn’t even know that about myself. I love seeing something so natural and beautiful – it reminds me to stop for a moment, breathe, appreciate, be present. It reminds me to slow down and take it all in. It’s a sigh of relief when I’ve been studying all morning, it’s an invitation to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, freedom.

I’ve been trying to slow down a bit. I love the small things, the beautiful things, but I also rush past them and forget to find them.

This morning I made my morning cup of tea (yes, I do this every morning) (yes, it’s a ray of happy before the day gets busy) and as I did so I looked out the window.

There was a flock of birds twisting and turning in the sky. They didn’t fly out of sight, but stayed within the window’s borders. They would go this way and that, continually spinning and changing direction. As one. They were altogether. No bird left behind.

But every now and then, something would happen. A change in angle, the way the sun hit them – I don’t know. But every few moments they would disappear from view. They would change colour in the light and suddenly blend in with the sky. And then a moment later they would be back, changing direction and letting themselves be seen in their feathered glory.

I don’t know what it was that made them invisible (a glitch in the matrix perhaps?) but I do know it was beautiful, and I do know it was a lovely, slow, waking up to the day. God’s way of saying good morning. God’s way of telling me He is first, He is above all else. That no matter what happens today, no matter how busy or full, He is here. And He wants to love me.

I wonder how many of these moments I miss. I wonder how many gifts I disregard. I wonder how many times I think God doesn’t truly love me when He is actually declaring His love with everything He has.

I pray I see more. I pray I love Him more.

Sarah xx

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