When I lived in Portland, Oregon one of my favorite things to do in the evening with my neighbor Clara was walk around the neighborhood and just catch up on the day, build our friendship, and look into peoples’ windows.
From the sidewalk of course!
Homes at night, illuminated from within, reveal so much more than the typical daytime drive-by viewing. There’s often an interesting lamp or a curious seating arrangement. There is the lighting and the color and the architecture and the moisture on the windows that speaks of warmth and conversations and relationships within.
Clara and I would muse about the decorating but also about the family dwelling inside. What were they like? Most houses kept their draperies open in the evening as if to invite such speculation.
As if to say “see me”.
See what I’m like inside. I may be awkward and not good at conversation. I may be boorish or abrupt or seemingly uncaring or selfish or grouchy or cross. I might appear unkempt and desperately in need of a hot meal and some sound sleep! But look inside me. See the me illuminated from within. See my intentions and my efforts. See my brokenness and my longings, my fears and insecurities.
In this season of light as we are hurrying to make some magic for our families, as we cook and bake in between 9-5 jobs, as we volunteer at soup kitchens or church pantries or reach to give a dollar or two to a person with a sign on the corner outside the Safeway (after purchasing $200 worth of groceries how can you not?)…
Stop for a minute and look inside where the lights illuminate who we truly are. Who the stranger is. Who my neighbor is. Who the homeless woman is. Who I am.
Can you see me now?