03 Aug A New Way of Seeing…Ourselves, Others, & the World
Sometimes, you need the ocean light,
and colors you’ve never seen before
painted through an evening sky.
Sometimes you need your God
to be a simple invitation,
not a telling word of wisdom.
Sometimes you need only the first shyness
that comes from being shown things
far beyond your understanding,
so that you can fly and become free
by being still and by being still here.
And then there are times you need to be
brought to ground by touch
and touch alone.
To know those arms around you
and to make your home in the world
just by being wanted.
To see those eyes looking back at you,
as eyes should see you at last,
seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen,
seeing you, as you yourself
had always wanted to see the world.
– David Whyte
©2012 Many Rivers Press
Second sight. That’s a pretty good way to summarize what happens when Jesus encounters people.
Jesus met people with all kinds of problems and ailments—hemorrhaging and hunger, deafness and blindness, mental illness and paralysis, isolation, rejection, and loneliness. Healing people was an important part of Jesus’ vocation in part because he cared about people and wanted their lives to be better and in part because wholeness was and is a sign of God’s kingdom. Not kingdom as in someday but kingdom as in now.
We still encounter Jesus and when we do, healing is still possible. But healing is never just about physical or mental wellness. When we are touched by God’s presence in our lives, we also receive second sight. We receive a new way of seeing people, seeing the world, and seeing ourselves. We cannot write people off or give up on them or dismiss them as “less than.” God loves those same people passionately, hopefully and faithfully, and so we endeavor to do the same. We don’t throw up our hands in either disgust or despondency, despairing of the mess the world is in. God is actively involved in this “mess,” working in redemptive, renewing ways, so we roll up our sleeves and get to work alongside God. We take care of our bodies, nurture our relationships, feed our souls and spirits because we “see” with holy eyes how cherished and valuable to God we are.
God’s healing comes to us in many ways, as David Whyte’s poem so beautifully captures. Whether your soul is in need of a dazzling sunset, a hug from a friend, a word of encouragement, or a wordless, silent prayer, I invite you to slow down, put your phone away, and look, really look. God is right there with you seeing you as you have always wanted to be seen, knowing you better than you even know yourself. Whatever you have to say, say it to God. Love is God’s eternal reply.
Yours for the Kingdom,