Since Ellis’ arrival, I can’t think of a single part of life that hasn’t changed. Everything has a new aspect or hue to it. Some things are now long gone, while there is also so much that is brand new. The capacity I had for Love has taken on new dimensions. I think that’s different than just having “grown” or expanded. It can be very overwhelming at times. But I will be honest and say that it hasn’t all been easy.
It’s a huge adjustment. An analogy that comes to mind is how I imagine losing an arm or leg would change everything about life; well, having Ellis has been like growing an entirely new arm or leg! There is just as much adjustment to be made.
A few weeks back I went to visit Dale, a retired Franciscan Priest and Urban Hermit whom I’ve been seeing for Spiritual Direction for over 5 years now, and we talked about all the life changes. It’s been a total change in identity for me. And I’m still working on figuring it out.
One thing that our time together helped me see is how taking pictures has been another gift in this new season and experience. Taking still-frame pictures has helped me to “be still”. With this new responsibility in my life (added to all the others) it is so tempting to be guided by momentum rather than actively and consciously guiding my momentum. That subtly is the difference between getting burned out while getting things done and being energized by Love.
The picture at the top of this article is of Ellis George Ronald Pinkston being held by his great-grandpa George (where he gets that part of his name from). The contrast of him in his great-grandfather’s hands captivates me. It makes me think, one day Ellis will be the one with those hands holding his great grandson and … I’m amazed. He changes so much every week. I can see how every single moment of time is as unique as a finger-print. And this in no way applies only to babies. “Grown-ups” are the exact same way. Moment-to-moment we are transforming. At the pace of trees.
Let be and be still, and know, recognize, and understand that I am God.
– Psalm 46.10 (AMP)
“Let be and be still…” the let be part of that instruction can be so challenging. I’ve often found myself “being still” in order change things, not let them be. Be still and let things be?? What about the things I want to change? What about the things I want to change about myself? … Letting BE helps take the emphasis off of me (as well intentioned as it may be). When I allow my attention to be removed from how I wish things would be or what I’m looking forward to and am present, I can see God. Not in the future. Not in the past. But present.