9.5.22 Seeing and Hearing
There is so much for us to learn as we follow Jesus into the life that God designed for each of us. There is so much for us to give up: our ego’s preoccupations, our agendas and desires, and our culture’s standards, so that, over time, we will be able to see other people and their needs with clarity and for us to become the humble people God asks us to be. It takes a longtime following Jesus in order to be healed and transformed into people who can truly love God, ourselves and our neighbors and who can put God first, along with his plan for us in everything we do.
Along the way we learn so much about what rules our lives and give that up. We learn so much about God’s purpose and plan for us and surrender to it. We learn so much about the people we were created to be. And therein lies the joy and peace and gratitude that is an inherent product of His leading and us following Him, that brings us into our lives as they were designed by God to be lived.
So, I ask the question: How well do we hear and see what is real and true and what God is asking of us in this lifetime? Here’s an example from my life. I love nature and always have, but I don’t think I began to see what the clouds were like in detail each day until last fall when it dawned on me that the clouds were so changeable and interesting. I really began to see the differences, one day to the next. And what I found was gratitude that I could really see them, that I was so connected to them, that I experienced God’s presence in them often. Tears would come to my eyes as I saw yet another different positioning of clouds in the sky. So many times in the last 9 months, tears came as I connected with the clouds and with God. And I’ve taken around a hundred pictures of clouds to remind me of their beauty.
I have come to think of God as the Artist in the Sky, producing an amazing variety of clouds as the atmosphere does what it was designed to do. And that change in my vision has been filled with joy and gratitude.
Another example of seeing and hearing better has come after a 20+ year’s journey(starting in 2001) of being led to see all human beings as children of God, all made in His image (Genesis 1:27) with only one hundredth of one percent difference in our human DNA among us all. As I have been challenged to let go of the grief and pain that I have experienced in my lifetime, as I have travelled twice to Haiti and Mexico, and spent a year interviewing people asking for financial help at Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte NC, my ability to love and to value other people has grown. I have also read a number of books written by Black authors, Native Americans and books about white privilege and its beginnings in the 17th and 18th centuries. I have grown in my appreciation of all the peoples of this nation, of this world.
I am not in any sense done or accomplished; I am still learning how to love God and my neighbors, mainly now by not putting myself first. I just want to make up for my preoccupation with myself and to learn how to be totally other-oriented. For that is the nature of the kingdom of God both in heaven and on this earth: He loves each of us, he forgives us for all that we have done, and He expects nothing but love and forgiveness and justice and mercy if we truly follow Him.
Each of us has a purpose in the kingdom. Each of us has a unique way of achieving that purpose, if we will but hear and see what the Lord is showing us.