We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through it all the time. God manifests Himself everywhere, in everything–in people and in things and in nature and in events… The only thing is we don’t see it… I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere. – Thomas Merton
Over the last month, I have had cataract surgery in both eyes. It has been a process, for sure, but the results are going to be great. I just had my one week check-up on the second eye and everything is going well. As soon as I get my balance working better (another story), I will be better than new.
Friends who have had this done told me that I would be amazed at the colors and how beautiful everything looks after the cataract is removed. I don’t notice any difference in the colors – they hadn’t really changed for me. But now, I was able to read street signs again right after the first cataract was removed and the patch came off. Also, I could see a long way down a street on which I was traveling. Good news! One morning I was standing in the driveway looking at the leafless trees. Every little twig on them stood out with great clarity against the winter sky. It was absolutely stunning. I had not realized what I had been missing.
Standing in the middle of the driveway, pondering clarity and how something in the eye blocks vision was an eye-opening experience. (No real pun intended…well, maybe.) I was relating this story to my husband when the following verse came to mind. I remember it best from the old King James Version of the Bible with which I was raised. It says, in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” That started a meditation which led to this from Matthew 7:3ff, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye?” Yikes.
When my spiritual eyes get clouded over with whatever, isn’t it likely that I don’t always see the face of Jesus in the places that he is, which is everywhere, including in your face? Aside from the usual being human, that is, what have I missed and what has shrouded my eyes, recently?
Being overwhelmed with what life has brought me this year has contributed to this, I believe. I have been feeling pretty insecure and somewhat disconnected. I’m a bit off balance in more ways than one. Throw in a heavy duty case of introversion at the moment, which I can work around most of the time, and there I go.
“Wretched [female] that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” ~ Romans 7:24-25a. Of course! One of the reasons Jesus came was to help remove the barrier between us. Our spiritual disciplines can help us notice the ways he does this. As you probably know, I usually try to spend two periods, each day, of 20 minutes each in silent prayer. It is not going well at the moment. I absolutely cannot get my mind to slow down. I need lots of help, Lord. Well, ask and you receive. I read that in a Book, somewhere. I am also reading a book, Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace, by J. Brent Bill. He recommends taking 5 minute periods of time each day, as needed, to be still, breathe, and listen for God’s voice. To Pay Attention, if you will. If I take all of these as needed moments, I might also be able to stumble through this with grace. Join me if you have any “as needed” moments. The film may fall from eyes as we sit and as we wait.