In our fast-paced world, our days speeding past in a blur, we’re in danger of losing the ability to truly see.
I don’t want to lose that skill, that gift.Or if I have temporarily lost it because I have instead trained my eye on the time or the speedometer or the packed pages of my daily planner, I want to regain it.In spite of having physical eyes that function quite well, I am sometimes guilty of missing a lot—so much that I might as well be blind. I want to see both physical beauty and that which is beyond it; I want a glimpse of deeper realities. Though I’m blessed to have my physical eyesight, I long for more.Wouldn’t it be something to have the privilege given to Elisha’s servant, when Elisha prayed “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see” the reality of hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around to fight on their side? (2 Kings)But even if I never see chariots of fire, I don’t want to squander my everyday sight. I don’t want to blunder through my days like a blind woman.On busy, blurry days, I can feel like the blind man whose story is told in Luke 18. He called out to Jesus, “have mercy on me!”Jesus came near and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?””Lord,” he answered, “I want to see.” Lord, have mercy on me … I want to see. Yes. I, too, want to see! I don’t want to miss the good stuff, the real stuff, the hard stuff, the beauty, the life, the needs, the truth. I want to see all that I need to see.Jesus granted the blind man his sight.I pray He’ll grant sight to these eyes, as well; I turn to Him that I might have eyes that see.And as I start to look around, I’ll start small.Pausing, I’ll give something my full attention.A butterfly.A seed pod.A metaphor.A turn of phrase in the last line of a poem.A friend on the phone.A sculpture.A blob of oil paint on canvas.A daughter walking hand-in-hand with me to the park.A sunflower bobbing over the fence.I don’t mean to simplify something subtle and spiritual by being overly practical, but when I launched a series at NotSoFastBook.com about how to practice “seeing,” I offered art as an entree.It’s a little lesson in seeing.Seeing is much more than learning to appreciate shadow, shape, and color on canvas.But it can slow us down and remind us that there is much more than meets the eye.
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Lynn Hopper says
The pine cone photo reminded me of something I learned late in life when I was doing crafts. I picked a lot of pine cones to fasten on wreaths, and the “live” cones were prettier than “dead” ones. But if it were cold or rainy, the cones closed up tightly–not pretty at all. And I learned that the seeds of the cones were little wispy things that were protected inside those bristly “flaps”, and when it was cold and rainy, the cone closed up to shield the fragile seeds! In all the years I had seen and picked up pine cones, I had never realized that!
I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere if you want to work it out, but I have a blog of my own to write right now, and I have a deadline! Just wanted to mention this!
Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience says
This is my language, Anne…
Thank you for eyes…
(And I love your sweet Mama — the pine cone doesn’t fall far from the tree….)
Mom: Hmmm….the pine cone has metaphor potential for sure! I’ll chew on it. Part of seeing includes thinking about what we’re seeing, so I’ll look at those pine cones more closely, ponder your words, and think.
Ann Voskamp: It is your language and your life, dear Ann. You teach us all to look closely and see more clearly. Thank you for letting us borrow your eyes and see through your lens at Holy Experience. You have been practicing seeing longer and more intimately than I. Please point me to some of your favorite “seeing” links at your blog! I would love to have one post that is packed full of links on this theme as part of this series.