Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? – Eric Carle
As a child, we’d respond to that question with, “I see (what’s in front of me)” or something childishly off-the-wall. As adults, our seeing gets cloudy. Blurred by stress, expectations, and obligations. Hindered by fear, worry and grief. Blinded by anger, frustration, and loneliness. We lose sight of the goals we once had and of our own immense value. (And isn’t it interesting that we phrase it that way?)
But it’s what we often don’t see at all that’s obstructing our vision most.
John Eldredge puts it this way:
“The reason you doubt there could be a glory to your life is because that glory has been the object of a long and brutal war.”
In his book Waking The Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (Godspeed, 2003), Eldredge implores us to see the context we’re living in. To see the spiritual behind the day-to-day. He writes:
“War is not just one among many themes in the Bible. It is the backdrop for the whole Story, the context for everything else. God is at war. He is trampling out the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored. And what is he fighting for? Our freedom and restoration.
And he continues, sharing what is one of the most game-changing ideas I’ve ever seen in a book:
Until we come to terms with war as the context of our days we will not understand life. We will misinterpret 90 percent of what is happening around us and to us.“
Let that sit with you for a minute. Can you see it? Hear it? The spiritual bullets flying around each of us 24/7? The booming bombs? The people charging, running, wounded? The victories? The defeats? Wave after wave after wave of battle. And we’re right there in the middle of it all, living in our whole mess of laundry, errands, relationships and desires.
Is it any wonder, then, that we have trouble seeing? With all that smoke and gunfire, we’d need some pretty powerful eye wear to see at all. Paul knew that back in his day too, as he shared this prayer. One that’s still for us today:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.- Ephesians 1:18-19
Without the eyes of our heart—the intuitive, Spirit-led vision God gives us as his kids—we live blind. We miss the point. We can’t be who He intended us to be or live the dreams we long to live.
How’s your vision today? What are you seeing with the eyes of your heart?
Image credit: maridav / 123RF Stock Photo