A bush, burning as if on fire but not being scorched…like Moses saw. (Exodus 3)
Three figures in the distance calling you to come and meet them…like Abraham saw. (Genesis 18)
A talking donkey…like Balaam saw. (Numbers 22)
At a recent training event I shared led a time of worship and reflection about what we can see and what might help us to see:
I showed various glasses and we reflected on their value and their cost.
For example if the light is bright we might choose to wear sunglasses but in normal light they might make you feel that the world is dreary and dark.
If our sight is impaired or blurry then we might need special lenses to help us see the world in more detail, to see it clearer but if the lenses are too strong then rather than seeing even clearer – they hurt and damage and cause distress.
I showed a pair of silly glasses with lights and windscreen wipers that are designed to cheer and maybe help us see the fun in the world.
I showed a pair of glasses made like kaleidoscopes that reflect the colour around us and turn the world into something colourful and eye-catching.
Lastly I had a pair of 3D glasses with red and blue lenses that help us see things pop out and seemingly come alive and with these too I shared some graffiti images where you could see layers of detail – as if seeing inside a person as well as seeing the outside. Amazing but also unsettling for some.
It made me think of how we see the world around us and what lenses we are using to see the world as we look out our windows and watch the world go by. It made me wonder if, by being glued to the news, we see the world through glasses that darken our vision. It made me think of what we would need to wear to see the brilliance of the blessing we shared yesterday, the awesomeness of community that raises millions for good causes, that opens eyes to difficulties and provides solutions. What vision would we have if we saw God at work everywhere we looked: in the learning of a child, in the serving of a volunteer, in the giving of some time or the caring of others.
The Prophets in the Bible spoke of amazing visions that fired their souls and sparked their imagination. Of people being made whole from the shattered lives that the world saw. Powerful Good overcoming the powers of Bad. A sacred space rebuilt that brings the people back to the things that matter.
And I wonder whether we need to have in our minds a vision of what we want to get back to. A vision of what our lives would look like, our lifestyles, our outlooks, our neighbourhoods and our schools and churches and workplaces.
What will we not restart because we have seen what could be different.
What habits will we not slip into because we have seen the colour and life and light that this time has brought us.
What attitudes will be our lenses – through faith and love and generosity – to see a world that needs loving, to see a world that needs saving and to see people as children of God and worthy of our care and compassion.
There was a reason Moses had to see the burning bush – God wanted to get his attention and lead him on an adventurous path.
There was a time for Abraham to see the figures that would turn out to be God – to connect with him and offer him a future and a purpose.
And Balaam’s Ass – well sometimes we all need a kick so we will hear what we need to hear, because we’re not seeing what is in front of us.
May you see the sun in the sky and feel the warmth of God’s love.
May you see the trees swaying and feel the Spirit move within you.
And May you see the life that is around you and give thanks that Jesus died to give us life in all its fullness. Amen