Looking up, I saw a big white cross the size of a door through a window that had a shade over it. I stared at it for at least 5 seconds trying to understand. Walking towards the window I was now trying to understand how this could be. This cross was massive and it was in a parking lot that contained a billiards bar, a smoke shop, and a Walgreens. What was this cross doing here? I called my dad over to come check this out. You wouldn’t believe this! He saw it in amazement with eyes wide open. I walked down the hall to the other window that didn’t have a shade on it to understand and get a different perspective.
I started to smile as I walked down the hall to get a different perspective. My smile grew from ear to ear as I thanked God for spreading my mom’s love to me. You see, the only thing that changes is the physical because the spiritual, emotional, and mental is all there. Greater than it ever was! Heighten awareness, open eyes, and an open heart for God. The cross was the white frames in between office windows on the side of a medical office building. However, how His light touched it by the morning sunrise it was more than frames.
Before I’d always heard people say, “Now you have an angel upstairs!” I never truly felt or understood that until today. Our bodies are truly just flesh. I heard a speaker once describe a story about the passing of his uncle. Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. once said, “I was holding my uncles hand as he passed. I felt his hand go limb and cold. In that moment, I realized we are not these bodies.” God loved us so much that he gave us the choice to love Him back and spend eternity with Him in peace and love.
Our minds are our greatest tool and our hearts are our direction. Our mind makes choices daily. Choices between how am I going to treat this person, what am I going to do today to help someone else, how will I act when I encounter someone that angers me, and how will I be the best I can be today? With eyes wide open, we can be open to God in our lives.
How? If New Years is a time for resolutions or aspirations than Ash Wednesday is the perfect day to start fresh and hold God closer to our hearts. Maybe you grew up Catholic or maybe not. Maybe you’ve heard people give things up for Lent like Chocolate in a means to fast in reverence for the coming of the Lord on Good Friday and Easter.
I would add to allow yourself to live with eyes wide open. In order to do this, I would encourage you to turn off the radio and unplug while you drive. It is a simple action that can have a ripple effect in your day. Since my mom’s passing, it was as if I went cold turkey from tv and the radio. Allowing myself the opportunity to listen with ears wide open. In addition, I would encourage us to abstain from alcohol during Lent to allow us to be fully present in His love.
With eyes wide open, let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God. The past week or so everyday I’ve been more vigilant and aware of my mom’s love all around me. From a unique story about a Hummingbird in a parking lot, my visit to my mom’s salon, and a phone playing music while it wasn’t on (these and more stories shared on my podcast here).
Let us take eight slow and deep breaths and center ourselves in an attitude of gratitude. Let us begin Lent anew with eyes wide open.
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Wonderful picture of God’s grace during a difficult time. Thank you.