Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time Travel

Wow. It's been striking me lately how amazing people are, and how much goes on inside them--substance at which we can only guess, because it is not written on the outside.

Over the Thanksgiving season, we were blessed to have family visiting, and among these dear ones was our baby granddaughter. She watches. She ponders. She smiles and interacts, exploring this world where everything, for her, is new. I find myself wondering what goes on behind those violet-blue eyes with their long curling lashes. She is a little mite of a person, yet her inner world is growing by the hour.

We are bigger on the inside than we are on the outside. I find this a fascinating aspect of humanity, and I'm put in mind of the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension in Space)--a time machine from a long-running British sci-fi series. While I am not the world's greatest fan of the genre as a whole, I've been enjoying certain themes that run through these episodes: the sanctity of life, the importance of stewarding the gifts and callings we carry, and the victorious power of love. 

And I like the TARDIS itself. It looks like a sixties-era British Police box  with a cute peaked roof, opaque windows, and a battered, navy-blue exterior. So ordinary from the outside. So extraordinary within. Easily ten times as large as its exterior, the TARDIS is filled with amazing instruments, a mysterious power source, and what seems to be an invincible and steadfast ability to take its occupants where they need to go, provide information and power to perform their missions, and take them on to the next adventure, all very prosaically and without drama.

How like people. We hold the whole of our existence within the tiny confines of our physical bodies. From babyhood to old age, it is all stored within us--the memories, the adventures and experiences both bad and good, the questions, doubts, faith, and core values. When we look in the mirror, we only see our surface, yet we understand  that we are more than what our eyes behold.

It strikes me as ironic, then, that so often we look only on the surface of other people. We see their outward person and assess them accordingly. Maybe they impress us, and for that reason, we lift them up. Maybe they depress us, and so we tend to avoid them. Or maybe we even sort of know them, and can look past mere surface and glimpse their worth. But what if, to quote a well-known verse, we didn't view anyone "after the flesh (outer person)"?

I'm talking to myself, really. A week spent with special people who I don't get to see often enough has me looking at life and people with eyes that want to see those around me in a deeper way. I want to go beyond just hoping to get through the checkout line at the local grocery in record time. I want to see the person behind the counter not as someone with a bad attitude, but as an individual with an interior as big as the universe. What about the homeless person who stakes out a certain corner every Sunday? What is he hoping for? What has happened in his life to so obscure his gifts, talents, and callings that even in his own estimation, he is reduced to smallness?
People are so much bigger, so much more valuable, so much more amazing than what their outsides testify. I love that. And I love it that every time I meet someone, I have an fresh opportunity to look beyond their surface appearance and behaviors. If I look deeper, I may be able to help stir up and even free the greatness within those who have lost sight of themselves. And if I can do that, in a way it will be like entering the TARDIS. I will be transported into a world so much larger and more magical than the one I see with my physical eyes, a world where amazing and unexpected things happen. And the deeper I look, the more the eternity in me contacts the eternity in them, and the more their world can open up to me.

If that's not time travel, what is??!!! 


  1. AH YES WHAT A WONDERFUL POST!!! Loved the thoughts (so appropriate, so necessary, to ponder the greatness of our neighbors and thus expand our own inner potential) but also the images. Good job mother dear.