Sometimes I cannot bear to look. More candidly, I refuse to see. The images playing out in front of me are either too difficult to accept, to problematic to see without acting, or to personal. The latter strikes my soul with a cutting action that often takes a long time to heal. I see through the scene, images of yesterday or the present dancing without control or inhibitions, and find myself caught in a scene that paralyzes me in a way nothing else does. Even as I write I find myself caught in scenes I do not want to see.
I doubt anyone is immune. The beggar at the Starbucks in Redlands triggered an emotion I could not handle. The handicapped person blissfully sharing a smile with everyone willing to catch her eye was more than I was prepared for in that moment. A couple's embrace, timed in the crossroads of my hearing my father's voice of yet another death of someone close to my heart. My vision is blinded by what I can accept. If there is more, why now God!
Yet I know I need to see. I need to be aware of those around me, for good and worse. I need to see every member of God's family, in easy times and difficult ones. I want to appreciate every image God gives; they are gifts of love, mercy, and living. If I refuse to see, then “justice is beaten back, righteousness is banished to the sidelines, truth staggers down the street, honesty is nowhere to be found.” (Isaiah 59.14) If you refuse to see, where will others catch God's eye? If our eyes are not open, how can we intelligently respond to God's call for action?
It is in seeing everything that we first respond to Divinity's call of stewardship. It is in seeing things we do not want to see that we first hear God's voice. It is in seeing, experiencing, and acting that we realize the truth of compassion, mercy, and living. With light, we are called to be God's child.
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