Seeing With The Eyes Of Faith
In the English language, the word see is used in many different ways. It can mean:
• To look and literally see with your eyes your surroundings;
• To understand, as when you say, “I see what you mean”;
• To engage a time of waiting or anticipation as when you say, “Let’s wait to see what will happen”; or
• To have an inner vision as when you acknowledge or see the presence of God within yourself, others or in happenings within the world.
Douglas Burton-Christie has written, “Seeing happens only when we risk a relationship with the world.” The world he is talking about includes people, non-human parts of Creation and the Creator God. To truly see with the eyes of faith is to build a relationship with God, with each other, with our inner selves and with God’s creation.
To see God and the truth God has for us demands we develop the ability to let go of ourselves and to go deep within ourselves to God. We must be willing to let our eyes, our inner vision, be opened by God so we can truly see/understand God’s revelation to us. To see God does not happen in one easy lesson, for the seeing of God is a lifetime experience involving both highs and lows on our spiritual journey and our discipleship responsibilities as followers of Jesus.
To see members of our families, our friends and neighbors, and the stranger is to firmly believe and act as if all people are members of the family of God created in God’s image. This implies we will love our neighbors and accept with joy and gladness their uniqueness. This implies we will work for justice and peace of all God’s children.
To see each other means to be willing to see to the needs of each other. It involves us in helping, in caring for and in standing beside those who need our assistance. With seeing comes responsibility to work toward change in our world. With seeing comes vulnerability in our own lives. With seeing comes the need to build relationships and connections with others in our churches, communities and the world.
Perhaps we all need to ask the following questions daily:
What did I see – understand, learn, experience, watch, discover, anticipate, care for – today?
Was I able to see God in my neighbor, the stranger and the events in the world?
Did I see the sacred in God’s creation?
Was I able to open wider my eyes to receive God’s message for me
God, give to each of us the ability to see with open eyes, minds and hearts all that we are called to be and do.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.