The Second Gaze – Glory and Healing


I cannot think of the word “glory” without going back to an early November 2013 evening at Lake Norman near Charlotte, North Carolina.  I was in the middle of an incredibly difficult period in the congregation I was serving at the time and also in what I was dealing with in my own mental health.  I had been struggling with depression and anxiety for several years at that point and it was affecting a lot of areas of my life.  So in early November of 2013, I found myself at a week long program in Davidson, North Carolina for clergy.  It is way too long to go into all the details but middle of the week, I found myself walking around Lake Norman at sunset processing everything that I was experiencing that week – learning about the enneagram for the first time, participating in eagala one afternoon with our group, processing experiences and history, doing physical fitness assessments…basically looking at everything in my life.  That night, there was an incredibly stunning sunset and I don’t know what happened that night but for about an hour as I walked, the only word that kept coming to my heart and even when I tried to speak was “glory.”  That was it.  

Glory.  

There wasn’t a burning bush but there was a fire in the sky that night and I was walking on holy ground.  I have never experienced such a time and felt the presence of the holy as I did that evening.  That moment was a huge part of what began a long (and still ongoing) healing journey in my life.  It was from there that I started to hear the Spirit speaking through photography, it was there that I experienced the transforming power of beauty, and I began to see hope that could emerge out of trials.  

My photo today is not of that sunset, but instead sunrise yesterday morning as I went on a long walk with Scout.  The sky was lit with such a beautiful golden color and reflecting off the lake.  It was truly a glory moment and a reminder as I stopped to simply take that time in of the journey that I continue to be on and the journey that I am grateful to be open to share with others.  

Categories: The Second GazeTags: , , , , , , , ,

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