|"Morning Sky", oil. by Laurel Daniel
Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
-- James 1: 17, Amplified Bible
My life has been loaded with good gifts, all springing upon me by surprise and all from secret beginnings, so I can easily relate to what James says in this sentence. My life, moment after moment, is as free and full as the sea my wife and I sometimes stroll beside. My thoughts are thoroughly full of possibilities, and each one seems as large as the light-filled sky I see outside my window this morning. As James suggests, there’s a shining quality in the moments of my life – all of them – as though something like suns or stars are inside every one. I don’t mean to suggest that I believe these glowing moments, these steady and splendid gifts, come from the God I grew up believing in, and that James perhaps believed in -- the human-like super-being who could be as cruel as he was kind. No, I’ve come to see these gifts as being the spontaneous and easy-going cascade that pours down on all of us simply because we’re alive. Most of us, for countless different reasons, don’t always notice these gifts, but I’ve come to see that they’re always with us, like the sunlight is with us even on the cloudiest days, or like breathing is bringing us new life even when our world seems to have broken into pieces. Just now, a thought of one of my brave and gentle sons came to me from somewhere, and, in an unrestricted and effortless way, I can soar on that thought and feel its light lifting me. Amazingly, any thought has that power, any of the tens of thousands of these good gifts that flood over me each day.