At a Lenten Quiet Day this week, our leader, The Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland, talked about the word Behold. It's fallen out of common usage. We don't behold much any more. The Gospel writers used the Greek equivalent of it often, when quoting Jesus.
+Gene Sutton encouraged us to get back into the habit of beholding. And, later that day, as I walked outside in the warm sunshine (still a novelty 2.5 hours north of where the Quiet Day was being held!), I beheld the start of spring flowers poking up out of the soil outside the church. It felt like a miracle.
In general, beholding doesn't come easily to me. I'm often rushed and in a hurry. I'm not the most visual person (unless I have a camera in my hand, then I notice everything).
My inability to behold easily was brought home this morning as I drove to church. It was snowing at the top of Milan Hill. There was a light dusting of lovely snow on every surface. The trees had that amazing frosted look they get when the snowfall is just right. It caught my breath when I came down the stairs this AM.
When I got the bottom of Milan Hill, there was no new snow. Not a flake, anywhere. And, I realized that somewhere in that 2 mile stretch of road, something had changed. And, I totally missed it.
Beholding is something I'd like to cultivate. I'd like to think that my Lenten discipline of writing here, more often, has helped a bit. You have to behold, in order to write. Maybe beholding is like running. You have to train the muscles in order to have success. Maybe we need to cultivate beholding in the same way.