God’s Invisible Things

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

When Jesus sat down for dinner with a well-dressed and wealthy Pharisee their pleasant meal  was harshly interrupted by a weeping woman who burst into the room and began kissing the feet of Jesus and wiping them with her hair. Simon was shocked! It was well known in his community what flagrant sins this woman had committed. How dare she enter his house, and furthermore how could Jesus allow himself to be touched by someone like her?

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Yet Jesus saw the circumstances quite differently than Simon or you or I. He didn’t focus on the fine tableware or savor the gourmet cuisine. He hadn’t been impressed by the beautiful columns or the handcrafted door at the entrance of Simon’s home. What Jesus saw was the coldness of Simon’s heart. Jesus had noticed that Simon had not given him the customary kiss on his cheek, or offered water for his feet to be washed. But Jesus saw quite clearly the repentance and gratitude of this woman and He treasured that.

God does not see things as we see them and as we enter this 3rd month of societal shutdown. He does not focus on our abilities, resources of political party.  Instead He sees the worthlessness of the things that I cling to and the value of the people that I avoid. Two years ago during an eye exam I learned that my eyesight was deteriorating because of  pterygiums which were blurring my vision. For those who are unfamiliar with the term those are things that happen to people like myself who spend most of their time outdoors. We have literally just seen too much! But after surgeries to both eyes I am thankful that I can see clearly. Maybe we need to ask God for a spiritual eye exam because the challenges that we face demand 20/20 vision. Even if it means spiritual surgery and a painful recovery it will be worth it when we come out seeing clearly and treasuring the invisible things that Jesus values most of all!

A Look in the Mirror

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5 ESV

“Why don’t these glasses that I have had less than a year help me enough to read anymore?”  I complained to my optometrist at my annual eye exam.

Why don’t these glasses that I have had less than a year help me read anymore?”  I complained to my optometrist at my annual eye exam.

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“Have you noticed those spots on your eyes?” she asked patiently as she held up a mirror.  There I could see dark patches on my irises which once were clear blue. Then I realized that everyone else could see my problem except for me. Jesus said that before we can help anyone else we have to take a look in the mirror.

Have you ever noticed that people don’t always see things as we would like them to? Maybe they are our children, our neighbors or that crazy politician running for office. No amount of cajoling, reasoning or sarcastic complaints seems to make a dent in their refusal to see the truth. But maybe our biggest problem is that we have some spots on our own eyes, rendering us incapable of delicate eye surgery.

I did finally get my vision back after two eye surgeries. What helped me through my difficult and recovery was the gentle voice of the surgical assistant assuring me that my eye were indeed healing. Her patience with my  complaints encouraged me to faithfully keep taking my eye drops and putting on my eye patch at night. Slowly my vision improved and I will always be grateful for their willingness to listen as well as to cure.

How Is Your Vision?

“Why don’t these glasses that I have had less than a year help me  read anymore?”  I complained to my optometrist at my annual eye exam.

“Have you noticed those spots on your eyes.?” she asked patiently as she held up a mirror.  There I could see dark patches on my  irises which once were clear blue. Then I realized that everyone else could see my problem except for me. Jesus said that before we can help anyone else we have to deal with our own weaknesses.

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You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5

Once  I accepted that I needed help,I went to Saint Luke’s Cataract and Vision Institute; where I discovered that  I needed surgery. As the result of a lifetime of overexposure to sun at work I had developed something called pterygiums.  In the same way that seeing too much, had dimmed my vision whatever we focus the eyes of our hearts on determines our ability to see spiritually. As we allow our eyes to become calloused by what we see in our world, we will see less and less of God’s face.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

After my surgery some nights have been painful and I needed to wear a protective eye patch for a while. Part of the process was getting eye drops every day. Because they stung I dreaded each time my wife reminded me that it was time for my drops; but I knew that these prevented infection and promoted healing. God restores our spiritual eyes in the same way with His healing balm. Though it may sting for a moment as our eyes fill tears of repentance; at the end we will be able to say, “I once was blind but now I see!”.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:18

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