Detail-oriented. Ever been called that? It’s something I hear a lot, and not always as a compliment. I’ve struggled with the reputation because I know it can be perplexing both to myself and others. I can trip over twenty details in five minutes, no problem. I’m a giant interruption to what I should be doing. When we have a special event, and I get my mitts on it, there isn’t a fork out of line or a flower out of place. When assigned to Sisters’ Sunday lunch, usually a casual affair, I apply the same modus operandi. The other Sisters say, “It’s okay. She almost can’t help herself.” (What do they mean almost?)
For several weeks, I’ve been reading the books of the Bible dedicated to Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel…Ezekiel, now there’s a man with whom I sympathize. He saw four living creatures (four faces, four sides), wheels within wheels, and dry bones stand up and walk. But perhaps his most amazing accomplishment was the amount of detail he observed and processed. Chapter 40 begins the Vision of the New Temple. If you think details are irrelevant, give it and subsequent chapters a read! Here’s a three-verse example:
The man said to me, “Mortal, look closely and listen attentively, and set your mind upon all that I shall show you…The length of the measuring reed in the man’s hand was six long cubits, each being a cubit and a handbreadth in length; so he measured the thickness of the wall, one reed; and the height, one reed. Then he went into the gateway facing east, going up its steps, and measured the threshold of the gate, one reed deep.” Ezekiel 40:4-6
And that’s just the beginning of what Ezekiel had to remember.
This morning I prepared for an event along with another sister, who tried hard to follow my directions. She sometimes looked puzzled and harried. I finally assured her, “Don’t worry, there’s always a reason behind my madness.” When we had completed the job, all that entered the room commented on how warm, welcoming, and beautiful it looked. I believe God is often in the details, and beauty enhanced by attention to the perceived insignificant. This concept applies to our spiritual journey and interactions with one another as well.