Behind our house, there are these amazingly beautiful mountains. I find myself staring at them a lot. They are always changing, depending on the weather and the position of the sun. I never understood that phrase "for purple mountains majesty" until I saw these giants. Sometimes, they even look like enormous triangles taped to blue construction paper, almost surreal. Unfortunately for you, I don't know how to take a decent picture of them. Just use your imagination and pretend James Glover inserts one of his amazing photos here:
Framed in front of these mountains is a walking path that weaves its way through our neighborhood. We are unabashed voyeurs of anybody that walks down this path. We are unabashed because they are too. We watch them peek into our backyard (probably pointing out all the childrens' toys in the yard), catch a glimpse into our living room (probably pointing out the flash of a naked child running by, or better yet, smashing their little, toddler butt cheeks up against the window pane - yes indeed, that has happened here.), or even crane their necks to see the silver Christmas tree I bought on clearance this January that was hurriedly stuffed in the attic, up against the narrow window that overlooks the pathway.
So, we do our share of peeking at them. Some run, some walk, some lead a dog, some stop to clean up their dog's poo and some do not. It makes for great conversation around the breakfast table as we try to predict what the aerobic folks outside are going to do.
Just last week, as I was preparing dinner, I watched an adolescent boy drop his skateboard on the paved path and hike over behind the bushes (which happened to be directly behind our fence). He looked over his shoulders (but forgot to look behind him) and then proceeded to pee. I squealed in surprise and quickly turned back to cooking.
One other day, I watched a middle-aged woman garbed in her exercise clothes and headphones. She walked quickly, like a good type A person. Then, all of a sudden, she stopped walking, put her hands up in the air, and just started dancing!!! I still smile when I think about this woman. I even called all the kids to come and laugh at her. Just kidding, we didn't laugh at her. In fact, if I'm being perfectly honest, I was jealous of her. How many times have I been running to Tommy Walker and suddenly want to raise my hands and dance? But I'm far too restrained to do it. I'm glad she wasn't. It was a sweet voyeur moment for me.
But my favorite view out our window was this: a young boy crying on the bench, and a good father who came and sat with his arm around his son's shoulder. The boy seemed to do most of the talking, his fists wiping tears away periodically, and the father kept his head turned to his son, listening intently. It was such a tender moment that I grabbed the camera and became the ultimate peeping Tom.
Like the looming mountains in the background, the Ultimate Father pursues us, leans in, listens closely. "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." (Psalm 103:13)
Like the spontaneous, uninhibited dance of the walking woman, I want to accept that compassion, the love of our Father. His tender songs, His love - might they woo us today to dance, and to parent with compassion.
Resting in Him,
P.S. If you would like to guest-blog here but are not sure what to write, you can always just come and dance or parent on our walking path. I'll be sure to snap a blurry photo or two. Just don't use our bushes as a bathroom.