Plastic Swans

You might remember that last summer, worship was outside in front of the cemetery chapel, followed by worship on Zoom.  It made for busy Sunday mornings!  But I also loved worshipping outside in front of that gorgeous chapel door, with the blooming flowers and bright sky.  I also loved focusing on all of you worshipping via zoom: being able to see all of your faces as I preached and prayed.


One morning after the outside service, a few of us were chatting before I went up to the church to start zoom worship. "Did you see the swans in the pond?!" I asked excitedly.  Because the previous Sunday, as I drove around the back of the chapel, there in the pond were two glorious white swans!  It was a stunning scene: those elegant swans on the glinting water with the chapel in the background.  Wow!!


Others were equally excited.  Yes, I saw them, too!  Aren't they gorgeous! My friend came over to see them!  We were all in awe that the swans had chosen to hang out in the chapel pond.  I even talked about the swans in zoom coffee hour.


WELL.  A few days later, I learned that those are PLASTIC swans!-- used to keep the geese away. PLASTIC. SWANS.  I had driven right by them, even stopped the car and rolled down the window, and it did not occur to me in the slightest that those swans were anything but real.


The following Sunday, as I drove around the back of the chapel on my way up to the church, I paused at the pond and laughed out loud. The swans didn't move at all.  They just drifted about, frozen, just like PLASTIC SWANS. The fact that I did not see this before is amazing to me.


Sometimes, we see only what we expect.  Sometimes, we see only what we want to see.  Sometimes, we see only what agrees with our views.


Our faith calls us to open our eyes and to see.  There are many stories and parables that involve "seeing" or Jesus healing a blind person.  How might we be seeing only what we expect?  How might we be seeing what is not actually there?  And how might our faith support us in opening our eyes to the truth?