Changing Perceptions

Plump and tiny, that little wren paused for just an instant on the forsythia’s winter-worn branch. Then she slipped away, an ambassador awaiting Spring’s arrival and the end of Winter’s reign. Change is coming. It can surround us and emanate from us. The story of the Transfiguration from Matthew 17 opens that doorway to stronger, more authentic and accurate understandings of the world we live in, to self-awareness and awareness of others as well.

When Jesus invites the disciples to join him, it seems an ordinary moment. But all that changes quickly. “And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.”
They see Moses and Elijah, and then the stunning moment, “then from the cloud came a voice that said,”This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.”
To see and hear things as they are, a greater Truth, is an extraordinary moment in human life. It passes; they move on. But the change is impossible to ignore.

This Gospel invites change and celebrates the courage to accept who we are and to stand together with those we love and care for. It invites consideration of the expansiveness of the human heart and spirit, and it defies the confines of human perception. It intimates how limited we can choose to be, to react, to respond at times, and it provides the reassurance that as human beings, we are more and we can become more. That process begins with perceptions and the realization that there just might be more to each of us than meets the eye, that there might be more to any given circumstance than what we can conceive. In general, the world might be a different place than we have determined it to be.

Change can be for the better: it can deepen our truths, expand our understandings, open new doors. At any age, we can see what is, let go of what was, and move towards what can be. There is a hint of glory in the story of the Transfiguration, of Jesus’ real status in the world; it is a glory that elevates man and shines a light on each of those before him. And so it shines on and in each of us. It is the invitation to become who we are meant to be, to be fearless in that and to trust deeply in God’s love. In other words, to become better people.

We will not be standing on Mt. Tabor anytime soon. But we can pay attention to what is happening around us. We can practice kindness. We can be open-minded and purposeful. We can choose to see the goodness in each other and forgive the flaws, our own and others, as part of a greater whole. We can trust intuition and give credit for synchronicity and bring joy and confidence to one another. We can dare to try. Maybe, like that tiny wren, maybe that is all we are being invited to do.

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