There is a story this week about how two disciples do not initially recognise Jesus after his resurrection when he walks with them on the road to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. It would seem they are so caught up with noise around what had happened to him that they forget to stop, take time to notice, and see the beauty in front of them. When they eventually recognise Jesus, they are able to look back and see that their hearts were in fact burning within as he walked with them and opened up the scriptures. It may have been an ordinary moment but something extraordinary was happening to them.
Can we also get in touch with an ordinary moment today? The movement of birds flying in the sky, the budding trees of Spring, a conversation with a friend, a consoling thought. I walked in the park today and felt a meditative joy that I could have easily missed. I felt hopeful in seeing the leaves bursting forth on the trees. I felt a sweetness in the fragrance around. I was grateful for the lovely cherry blossoms. Can we be surprised by these small things? Can we let them touch our hearts?
It may seem impossible to enjoy the greener and quieter world that we are now living in when there are so many problems, such as the thousands of Covid-19 deaths and sharp rise in unemployment. But when we stop, take time to notice, and see the beauty in the world, we become more joyful people and we live out of a deeper sense of reality, even in the midst of pain or suffering. Perhaps we can tune into what we have in a loving way every day. Perhaps we too can experience our hearts burning within us.