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All We Cannot See

Green shoots up from beneath the brown – spring is underway! Blossoms of bright yellow burst open as crocus and daffodils bloom. Dependable signs of new life appear across the landscape. We store our sweaters once more and revel in the increasing sunlight that treads into territory once claimed solely by darkness. So much happens silently, stealthily, secretly! The earth spins, the seasons yield one to another, and we humans do what we do as we attend to the passage of time.

Unseen beneath the pliable and ever-changing layer of skin we wear, our bodies are busy doing what they do to keep alive the organism we are as our days meld into nights with great regularity. Digestion, respiration, circulation, multiplication, elimination… we celebrate when these systems function as they are designed to function and fret when we receive signals that they’re not. All we cannot see taking place within us is continuously making for life while simultaneously succumbing to decline. As we attend to the passage of time, we become more profoundly aware that at some point in time a day will arrive that we won’t survive, a night will yawn and swallow us up before dawn. All we cannot see waits beyond that moment. We live in hope. Or not. We anticipate death in peace. Or not. We accept that we’ll disappear from the face of the earth. Or we don’t.

Any of us who have ever made bread from scratch understand how much of what transpires in the process happens silently, stealthily, secretly. Ingredients combined in a bowl interact in ways we can neither observe nor control. The yeast is the champion in action dissolving, dissipating, distributing its vitality by disappearing into the water-soaked and salted flour. It becomes an indistinct thing so that the combined ingredients may meld into something other than what they previously were. All we cannot see rises gloriously inseparable.

We’ve all probably known saintly people who labor silently, stealthily, secretly in hopes of bringing daylight to places of deep darkness, resilient life in the midst of involuntary decay, infectious vibrancy among communities afflicted with apathy. Attending to the passage of time, such saints make the most of the hours in a day fueled with hope, propelled by peace, and accepting limitations but not terminations, all the while yearning for a perpetual season of new life, championing new combinations of others that meld into more than had been previously imagined. Miracles spring forth with great regularity through all we cannot see.


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