I stood right here on Sunday preparing to share words for Mother’s Day.
That day the pews were not empty and as I looked out at the crowd my eyes took in the fullness of the sight. And you know, I realized how often I look with out seeing, see without perceiving, perceive without truly caring… and that’s a shame. How much I’ve missed!
John chapter 9 records the miraculous healing of a man born blind which brought reactions of disbelief, doubt, and confusion from the Pharisees. I’ve felt such power from Jesus’ words in regards to their spiritual blindness, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” The prayer of my heart is for God to reveal areas of my heart where I think I can see but I am really blind.
On Sunday, as I stood looking back at those sitting in the pews, my eyes were opened to an area that I so often do not have sight. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t completely ignore my fellow church-goers. But all too often I allow myself to be content with proximity, as if we are really community because we sit near one another under the same roof. I’d begun to settle for the exchanging of pleasantries as a substitute for true conversation. I’ve too often chosen to look without seeing.
It gives deeper conviction to Jesus’ words:
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
To love my neighbor I needed to really see my neighbor. Not just look at them, not just smile, give greetings and make small talk… but open my eyes, heart, mind and spirit to “see” them more fully.
Sometimes we who can see are still so blind. Lord, open our eyes! Today help us to see more clearly and love more deeply.