Tuning In

I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove - John 1 

A seasoned traveler can tune out the roar of a jet engine in flight.  An experienced Mom can tune out Saturday morning TV cartoons her kids are watching. A good bar tender can tune out four or five at-the-bar conversations simultaneously. And any teenager worth his zits can tune out a high school history teacher rambling on about the War of 1812.                  

The talent to tune things out is high art, a holy gift and can keep you from scrambling to the bathroom for a Xanax.                                      

The talent to tune in is not so highly valued. Parents, of course, tune immediately in to their children's conversation when they heard the words "sex" or "drugs." Grocery store managers tune in when they hear "snow" on the local weather forecast. And avid shoppers drop everything when they hear, "bargain."            

But, for the most part, tuning in is not as highly valued these days as tuning out. And so, we might miss the telephone-wire-perched bird song in the midst of downtown traffic. We might not hear the giggle of delight across the room in the restaurant or the almost-silent flutter of fresh snow as it falls through naked trees.                  

True. Our lives are full of noise and dissonance that can rattle the brain and jangle the nerves. But if we only tune out and never tune in, we might just miss a giggle, chirp, rustle or rhythm that sounds for all the world like it's calling our name. 

Howard is prepping his spirit for cataract surgery.  Never having been a big fan of doctors, hospitals or surgical "procedures," Howard is toasting the possibility that he will soon be able to see a beautiful face or a sunrise more clearly.