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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Looking through waxed paper

20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
      Listen carefully to my words.
 21 Don’t lose sight of them.
      Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
 22 for they bring life to those who find them,
      and healing to their whole body.
(Proverbs 4:20-22)

Many of us take our "sight" for granted.  We simply "expect" to see.  For those of us with "weakened" vision (requiring glasses or contacts for clarity), we may experience an element of sight without a clarity of sight.  Without the use of the assistive devices we are dependent on to bring that "clarity" to our sight, we see the world as a blur.  For an individual going blind, like my mother, the "clarity" of their world is impacted by not only the revelation that they cannot see clearly, but that they can no longer see things they once enjoyed seeing.

We often take for granted that someone who is "functioning" at a fairly high level of "productivity" is really okay.  For example:  Mom "appears" to be "okay" because she can maneuver around the house, the store, or the restaurant without a white cane or a seeing-eyed dog.  The reality is that she only sees shadows of the former images she once beheld so clearly.  The smile or frown on our faces is no longer what she sees - the image has been blurred by the disease that is taking her sight.

The same is true in our spiritual walk.  We see individuals "functioning" at what we interpret to be a pretty "high level".  We see them at church, family in tow, singing the songs, listening to the sermon, and even shaking a few hands when service is over.  We run into them at the mall, shopping for much needed wardrobe items or a new set of sheets.  All looks "normal" to us.  Yet, deep inside, the individual may be losing their "clarity" of purpose, "clarity" of perspective, or "clarity" of peace.

We don't take time to really listen to the others in our lives - getting a true grasp on how they are "seeing" life at this very moment.  More importantly, we aren't honest enough to share with others how it is that our own "clarity" is being taken from us!  We allow the "appearance" of being "okay" be what the world sees.  In turn, there is no help for us when our purpose has been clouded by things and circumstances that no longer give meaning to our lives.  We don't see that our choices have clouded our perspective on life, allowing us to "filter" all of life through faulty filters.

We don't wear signs around our necks announcing that we have lost perspective!  We don't advertise in the local papers that we have no sense of purpose in life!  We certainly don't admit to having no peace in our lives!  But...there are "signs" we display - withdrawal, constant discontent, frustration, outbursts, negativity, etc.  We need to become skilled at seeing the signs others display.  When we recognize them, we need to become the type of friends that will come alongside, lending a listening ear, a helping hand, or an open heart.  

Our natural vision may slip away, but our spiritual vision need not!  We just need to have the honesty to admit it has, and the sensitivity to accept the assist of another to help us out of that "dark place".