How Do You See The World?
I was born with congenital glaucoma, which affects 1 in 100,000 or so people, and now is easily detected and treated. In 1969, however, there were only two people in the entire country who were able to perform the necessary surgery to reverse the effects.
Because it was caught in time, the damage caused by the glaucoma was able to be minimized in my left eye, but my right eye was not so lucky. I've been legally blind in my right eye for my whole life--able to make out shapes, colors, and some peripheral vision, but not much else.
From time to time I run into things because I'm looking a bit too far to the left. It happened the other day, in fact. I face planted into a pole while I was walking on the street trying to figure out which way I was going. Luckily no one was there to see it.
It's interesting to have sight in one eye, and almost none in the other. I am constantly reminded of what it would be like to lose my sight altogether--a thought that I don't care to entertain.
I was reading today from the Gospel of Luke and came across this teaching of Jesus:
34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”Years ago, I did a teaching on this passage of Scripture and discovered something interesting about the metaphor that Jesus was using here. In the ancient world, the eye was seen as a "window" of sorts that allowed light inside in order for people to see. Jesus builds on this ancient understanding by taking it a step further.
What Jesus is essentially teaching here is a way of looking at the world that is "full of light." In other words, when the way you look at the world is healthy, then the way you respond to the world will be healthy. But if your vision is unhealthy, the way you respond will be as well.
How many of us look out into the world with a jaundiced, diseased view? How many of us see the world as a dark, dirty, ugly place? How many of us view people negatively rather than positively, always looking for the ways others are not us, are different...? How many of us find ourselves viewing world events, circumstances, news, or politics with lenses of fear, anxiety or straight up anger?
Jesus' teaching here is clear. If you want to have a light-filled life, you have to start seeing the world through light-filled eyes. You have to see the world as God sees it--full of potential for beauty and goodness, and worthy of redemption and reconciliation.
May you find ways to see the world differently today. May you look through God-shaped lenses at the people around you, seeing them as children of God made in God's image. May you see the events and news happening around you as opportunities to share and show grace and peace.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.