There’s a French saying that, translated, says, “One tastes first with one’s eyes.” That’s probably
why food is presented so artfully in France – as a ‘feast for the eyes.’ (I must say, it makes one
hungry just looking at it). All that attention to perfection is, I suppose, ultimately unnecessary,
but there is an enhanced anticipation as a result. Receiving a card or letter in the mailbox from
someone we love can produce a similar sizzle of anticipation. Or, for the romantics among us,
seeing a thoughtfully wrapped gift, be it birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or even for no special
occasion, can send up a surge of grateful pleasure. And if anyone has been involved in planning
any formal event, like a wedding, the list of minutiae is stunning, with much of it largely
unnoticed by guests in attendance. All these exacting measures could be omitted without
incurring serious consequences, but they address a hiddenness, an unseen human
characteristic, an inherent, God-given sense of worth. They give silent assent to our
personhood, our dignity, our value as individuals. They ‘speak’ that we are seen, delivering a
refreshed sense of belonging. And the ‘feeling’ in all of this is that elusive ‘je ne sais quoi’ we
call – joy.
In His creating mankind in His image, God instilled in us His character, His divine attributes,
many of which have been obscured by the Fall. The moments that take our breath away, the
sights that cause tears to spring to our eyes, the memories that continue to make us smile long
after an event has passed, the times of overwhelm which surprise us with their intensity, all
indicate our approaching liminal space (from the Latin word, ‘limen,’ which means ‘threshold.’
On the precipice of something new but not quite there yet. It’s what some of my favorite
writers refer to as ‘thin space’). For us as followers of Jesus, I think ‘liminal space’ happens
often in prayer, during Scripture reading, in worship, in fellowship with other believers, and in
nature. It’s a sensation, a feeling, a something almost impossible to describe. And that
experience is – joy. Its outcome is – celebration. We’ll explore this more tomorrow, 10 AM, 4
PM, 6 PM. See y’all then. PD

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