Paying Attention

This post is third in a sporadic series on a book I’m reading that is changing my life: “God in the Yard, by LL Barkat. This is not a book review, per se, but perhaps a book invitation…The author writes early on ‘smallness permits attention,’ and I am starting small, stitching together my Sabbath times, sitting with God in my yard for 15-30 minutes 2-3 times a week.
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I am amazed at what I see and hear as I pay attention.

And I’ve discovered, through the author’s suggestion of using ‘transformational math’ and playing towards God, as she puts it, a new formula for my quiet times.

Slowing + sitting = seeing and hearing.

Watching and listening, not DOING anything, is more about letting myself take in, absorb, receive from God rather than produce and give out.

There IS a cost for just showing up and paying attention–my precious time, but it is a price worth paying.

Because God drops in thoughts like this:
The view from my deck often contains a sky full of gray.  The colors are muted, indistinct in this low light time.

I wonder, ‘is there more life/less life/the same life 
when it’s gray around the edges?”

As I look off into the distance, model-like cars travel the highway. 

I wonder, ‘what gives this world dimension and depth?


There are so many layers between my head and my eyes and the objects on which they land.

Shapes aren’t as clear–clouded, undefined, fuzzy around the edges. I know what’s out there is real–I’ve seen these far off buildings up close. But now all I view are the floodlights illuminating amorphous contours.

How do I know what’s really out there?

Every object I see is just as real as the chair I’m sitting in, 

I have to trust they are still there.
  • When life is murky and gray around the edges you have to look harder to see it and ignore all that’s between your eyes and the far away horizon.
  • When you practice paying attention you get better at knowing what to look for, you use your other senses to discern what’s actually going on.
  • You go by faith.
And you get better at asking,
“God what are you doing here, even when I can’t see?”
What kind of questions are you asking of God today?
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linking with Tracy for Winsome Wednesday
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6 thoughts on “Paying Attention

  1. Jody- I could see you observing the gray edges…I could hear your questions welling up towards God…you not only absorb God for us…you share your intimate conversation with him…thank you for this glimpse into your yard with God…I look forward to getting this book soon in the mail…I am reading her book Rumors of Water, which is an encouraging read about her writing process…she echoes an ancient voice of calm wisdom…

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  2. I'm loving your reflections on this book, Jody. What more is out there that I can't see? I'm reminded of Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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  3. “What is God doing here, even when I can't see?” God is up to PLENTY! Perhaps he's not answering a particular prayer request fast enough for me, but as I look, listen, and touch, God manifests himself in countless ways: a baby's joy-filled smile, a heart-warming word of encouragement, an unexpected hug around the neck. Why do I find myself focused on the gray edges sometimes? Practice will make perfect. Thank you for the lesson, Jody!

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