The Sense of Sight (January 16, 2012)

…Opening To…

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

…Listening In…

Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” (John 20:29; context)

…Filling Up…

In a Bible study yesterday at church, I led a group that discussed all of the visual and auditory language in a reading from 1 Samuel 3. It was a very cool discussion, and now I have the senses on the mind. So this week, I’d like to talk about how God encounters us through our senses. And coincidentally enough, we have five of them, which is perfect to fill a week! We’ll start with sight.

First off, sight is problematic. There are too many Biblical passages that run along the lines of the quotation above: whenever Jesus talks about others believing because they have seen something or need to see something, he seems just a little bit disappointed. This would naturally make us suspicious of the sense of sight where encountering God is concerned. Sight is linked to the need for proof. For some reason, whenever we talk about proof, sight is our sense of choice.

However, there’s another way of looking at sight, and we need not be suspicious of it. Rather than looking for proof of God’s presence, let’s use our vision to see what at first glance seems like proof against that presence. Let’s use of vision to notice deprivations in our communities to which we might normally keep ourselves willingly blind. It’s easy to ignore the homeless man on the street city or the starving child on the TV commercial. We ignore them because they make us feel uncomfortable. But we can’t respond to needs that we don’t see.

So let’s use our eyes, not to prove to ourselves that God is present, but to prove to God that we can be present to others.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you have give me eyes to see your wonders in this world. Help me to be a part of that wonder in the lives of those around me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, ready to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell your presence, that I may be more aware of your movement in my life.

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