How many times have you said, ‘I just don’t see it!’ Or when the penny suddenly drops and a hidden truth emerges, have you exclaimed, ‘O now I see!’ Seeing is a precious gift, a valuable key in this ‘awakening’ process. However in my experience I have often needed to be taught how to see. Sometimes this is by way of revelation from the Holy Spirit, as did Peter when he suddenly saw, ‘You’re the Christ, the son of the living God’, and Jesus replied, ‘Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven’ (Matt 16:16-17); and sometimes through the help of a spiritual teacher.
Jesus spoke much about ‘seeing’. Here are some examples. There are the four parables about things lost or hidden (Matt 13:33 yeast hidden in flour; v44 treasure; Luke 15:8 lost coin, Matt 18:12 lost sheep) implying things hard to see which need looking for. He spoke of the kingdom being ‘seen’ by some but not others – the parable of the sower (Matt 13: 11-17). Jesus encourages us to ‘stay watchful’, (Matt 25:13, Luke 12:37, Mark 13:33-37).
But I’d like to draw your attention to one of the numerous blind people Jesus healed. John 9 is a remarkable account of true blindness, and true seeing. It starts off with him healing a blind man on the Sabbath (you just sense this is going to cause trouble)! And it ends with Jesus claiming that he came into the world to bring everything into the light so that those who had never seen might see, and to point out that there is nothing more dangerous than people who presume they already see (v39-41)!
I believe deep within us we all possess the capacity to be fully alive, and alongside this capacity that of 20/20 spiritual vision. The illumination that Jesus brings creates in me a deep longing to ‘see’ more – to see God, to see my purpose on this planet, to see the Kingdom, to see how much I am loved by God, and so much more.
We all know that physical vision can become impaired with age? But what of spiritual vision? I now suspect, and ironically the wisdom that comes by age has shown me, that some of my previous ‘seeing’ has been through scratched and tainted glasses. These have skewed my vision and therefore my understanding. I’m realising that maybe some of my teachers have only helped me see what they wanted me to see. Time, methinks, to dispense with glasses altogether! Time to trust God that I can ‘see’ clearly in his light.
As I still myself and the silence beckons, I ponder what Jesus might have me see this week.