Suzanne Cain 

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me save that thou art,
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping thy presence my light.

I was traipsing around Lake Nixon the other day.  You know, the more I go out there, the more I am drawn to go back – like it calls to me.  After leading a morning prayer, I decided to come back in the afternoon.   It was a perfect day.  One of my favorite things is observing how a familiar place can look so different depending on the time of day.  The location of the sun changes how we see.  It illuminates or dulls colors and transforms shadows.  Morning sunlight casts across the water and hits the trees at ground level whereas afternoon sunlight filters down through the trees from above.  I stopped multiple times taking pictures of the beauty surrounding me as I made my way up the trail to the prayer chapel.  As the trees continue to lose their leaves an unobstructed view of the entire lake is slowly being revealed from the vantage point of the chapel.  It is glorious!  As high up as the prayer chapel seems, I’m always amazed the way sound carries across the water.  The preschool was still in session and I could clearly hear every little voice talking and playing from what sounded like all sides of the lake.  I stepped off the platform of the chapel back up the incline past the “pews” and ventured off the trail to a slightly more open area of trees adjacent from the chapel.  I happened to look up and saw a tree with a marker. 

Gorgeous View LN.jpgGorgeous View LN.jpg

Interestingly, this marker is facing away from the lake and like I said, a few feet off the path.  Quite easy to miss.  When I looked away from the lake and in the direction the sign was facing, all I saw were trees surrounded by a blanket of leaves on the ground.  I wondered about the placement of the sign.  Why there? Why isn’t it next to the chapel?  Facing the sign does allow you to observe both the lake and the sign in one gaze, although the lake is a bit more obstructed given its location.  What view it is referring to?  What am I missing?  Maybe I should come back at a different time of day when there is a variation of light.

How we see has something to do with our story.  Where and how we grew up.  What and how we were taught.  We are looking for and aspiring to complete our story according to our conditioning – according to what we know.   All of this shapes how we see the world and each other.   We grow and mature by continuing to learn new ideas and information.  But until we learn how to see, our growth and maturity will be hindered and our sight obstructed.  Until we learn to be open to what others see, we will live our whole lives missing something.    

Our biases distort our ability to truly see.  Our brain happily welcomes information that confirms what we already know.  Our brains prefer a simple lie over a complex truth.   Our brains like stories that cast us as a hero or a victim and not a villain.   Our brains find it hard to accept something our group or tribe doesn’t want us to see.  And an absence of contact with an outside group or tribe only widens the chasm of not seeing what others see. 

We all have bias.  It is how our brains function.  We bring with us pre-critical inclinations in favor of or in opposition of something.  Patterns of distortion that inhibit our ability to see rightly.  To name that is a step toward holy seeing. 

Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.  If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar.  If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have.  Matthew 6:22-23 (MSG)

If our eyes are well, they will show us what is true.  Seeing what is true requires us to see all things in diverse light.  Take a few steps off the well-traveled path you know and look for markers.  Then take a second glance and a third and fourth glance.  Gorgeous views at every turn. 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This