I climbed up the ladder to the top bunk. Teetered up to lie beside my lanky son. In the darkness, came his whisper. "How does my body go from awake to sleeping?" We followed the progression from quiet awareness, through softening muscles, stilling limbs, closing eyes, slowing brain waves, REM dreaming to deep, peaceful sleep. The cycle of shortening deepnesses repeated through the night that delivers us to meet a new day. The lessons learnt by newborns that make this calm slipping away so natural that we are not aware of our efforts as we do it.
It reminded me that so much of what we do is automatic, instinctive and not part of our conscious consideration. Some days I sail through with minimal awareness and hardly a nod to intentionality. I realise afterwards, the opportunities I've missed or the little things I could have done better.
The light dawns slowly. And I form these ideas...
To see clearly, I need to stop and look. I need to intend to use my eyes, and allow what I see to be a focus, not just the scenery to my life. I want to put useful pictures in my conscious mind, and then be moved by them, or let them change me. When I see something that is wrong, I want to feel compassion, and think of ways to bring help. The movement I want is from really seeing with my eyes, so that my heart and brain and spirit push my body to considered action.
To see clearly, to really see, I need the right light. Looking at the world in the light of God's love and of Jesus changes how we see things. Jesus' light survived the extinguishing power of death. It is a light that can search out and shine into any darkness. It illuminates rather than blinds. It highlights values like mercy, goodness, purity, faithfulness, humility and love.
The lights of this world shine off gold, money, comparisons, beautiful things, achievements and red carpet smiles. And the lies they entice us to believe are about how to be rich, how to be loved, how to be powerful and to trust in ourselves.
The light that God shines into our lives is unchanging. We just need to allow our eyes to become accustomed to it. To read his word, to see the cross of sacrifice and brokeness, the resurrection miracle that brings us into the light. To experience his mercy and love so that our eyes see the world bathed with his compassion and glory. To really see is to allow what we see to pierce us, to drive us to ask God to act and to rescue. To really see is to trust that God will bring his kingdom. To really see, is to look and see Jesus in each broken, human story before us, including our own.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:4-5)
Jesus said, "I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark." (John 12:46)
Sharing with Ann about really seeing, today.