Penny and I recently stopped by the Kemper Museum of Modern Art in Kansas City for a visit. I wandered around, noticing two women sitting on a bench in a gallery. They sat silently before a painting, a landscape of farm land in Iowa somewhere. It was a large piece, perhaps 12 feet long and four feet wide, a panorama.
I walked on, peeking into that particular gallery again and again. The women were still there, each time I looked, still staring at the painting. Perhaps they were Iowa expatriates in Kansas City and missed the rural countryside, and this painting was their way of visiting home.
Or perhaps something else was going on between them and that painting.
Perhaps it was adoration. They were sitting still and in silence before beauty and drinking it in with their eyes-- appreciating and delighting in it.
That's what adoration is--adoration also being a form of prayer, according to The Book of Common Prayer. When we adore God in prayer, we simply appreciate God for being God in all of his goodness, beauty, wonder. Adoration is being in the presence of the Holy One; it's a moment of oneness with him.
That oneness can happen while looking at a painting in an art gallery, a sunset over Table Rock Lake, your grandchildren asleep, or the altar at church, adorned with sprays of flowers on the last Sunday before Lent.
In Lent, take time just to sit still before God, wherever you see him revealed. Be quiet. Adore God. And know that God adores you.