Lenten disciplines: Seeing

Last week in worship we explored what it means to see in new ways.  I believe despite or due to the fact that we are constantly being bombarded with images, limited sight is a major struggle in our country and world.  Marie Antoinette the French empress was rumored to have said “let them eat cake” when she was told that her people were starving.  Yes is certainly sounds callous but if she did say it, perhaps it is understandable, brought up in a world where she only saw abundance and luxury how could she understand or see what it was like for the people who struggled outside her doors without bread to feed their children.  In my own life I remember one of those disagreements of my early marriage where Beth looked me and said, “You think all my stuff is junk and your stuff is priceless treasures”.   Well of course I did, my junk was connected to my memories and my vision, while hers was, in my eyes, was just a bunch of useless clutter.  Over the years as we have grown together and although we still occasionally have the same conversation, more and more of our treasures are the same, the priceless treasures of our shared experience.  We see through shared vision.  In our recent Presidential election I was somewhat amused by the candidate who spoke to a woman who had lost everything in a natural disaster and told her to contact FEMA and they would help her.  Now that same politician’s political position stated we should eliminate FEMA because he felt disasters should be handled by charities and state organizations.  When confronted with the sight of a real person, however, he wanted to have a way to help.  I would like to blame this shortsightedness on a particular party but it is true of all sides, because it much easier to be blind to the other view than to have to confront the limitations of your own. This is also true in the church where sometimes we miss it in a grand way with our “let them eat cake” words and action.  So I am aware that embracing “open eyes” it is not easy path, and that what I see may cause me to struggle with long held blindness.  And open eyes may lead me to new paths and unexpected territory.  So it is somewhat timidly that I pray Lenten season “open my eyes that I may see.”

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