Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lent Day 14: Eyes wide open

I love the song, "I've been keeping my eyes wide open." I don't know who sings it, who composed it, or anything about it except that when it comes on the radio, I'm inclined to listen. [These eye photos and others can be found at the amazing blog: Village of Joy.]

People read meaning and value into the use of eyes. Yet, depending on our culture and status, we get conflicting messages: "Look at me when I'm talking to you" (child in American culture), or "Never look at a man" (women in Muslim culture), or even "Look into my eyes to see how I love you" (Western lovers).

It's hard to imagine a world without seeing shape and color. God-given senses enable us to maneuver without banging into things, aware of textures, size, and perspective. We make snap judgments, looking at people, food, clothing, and nature.

Our perception of color is unique to ourselves. What my mother sees as blue, I may argue as green. Artists paint, draw, and sculpt in ways we would not have imagined, recreating their view of the world according to their inner eye.

When any part of eyesight or seeing is hindered, our bodies compensate, not fully understanding what others see. We use sight as metaphor for comprehension: "He's blind to the truth," or "I should have seen that coming."

Jesus kept his eyes on his Father as well as his surroundings. As a follower as well as a leader, he focused on relationships that drew him closer to God and to others. He didn't let distractions, whether material or spiritual things, divert his attention on being and doing God's purpose.

I'm not always good at knowing what God wants. Sometimes I miss the impossible solution, trying to see the future.

In the Bible, people as finite as we in having limited information, asked questions, afraid of the future.  Some are called "heroes of the faith" because they believed without seeing.

Trudging up the hill to sacrifice his heir in obedience to God, Abraham's heart might have been breaking. He never wavered, knowing God had every circumstance under his watchful eye. Here's the story:

Isaac turned to him and said, "Father?"

"'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied.

"We have the fire and the wood," the boy said, "but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"

"God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son," Abraham answered. (Genesis 22:7-8a NLT

And God did provide -- a ram caught in a thicket. Had Abraham been blinded by tears or turning away in disappointment, he could not have seen God's provision. He would never have gained the reward of his trusting obedience, his distinction as the father of many nations, and the life of his beloved son.

Where are our eyes focused today? Are they wide open to the humanly impossible, to what only God can do? To the intricate and unimaginable that God has planned for us and those we love?

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