“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1:4 NIV
I was just sitting here the other day in my room talking to God about some things I don’t understand, like how I can still feel so unsatisfied and incomplete even though He is my Father and always near. A truth I’ve known for most of my life. He will never leave us nor forsake us—but what about when we don’t feel it?
And then seemingly out of the blue I thought of a blog post that a dear friend of mine wrote back in March, and was prompted to go read it again. If you would like to understand more of how I entered the following thought processes, you can read that post here: http://metaphorandmeaning.blogspot.com/2015/03/windows-to-soul-why-i-write-part-2.html
So I’m sitting here after reading that struck with this particular prayer she mentioned this author prayed over her: “Be healed. Be healed.” So simple. Almost inconsequential. Oh, but not really. Because isn’t this what we all need on an almost constant basis? To be healed of our misperceptions, healed of our darkened sight caused by the circumstances and the unremitting blows to our thoughts on a moment by moment basis? Don’t we need our Father to remind us again that because of what He did and what He says, we are now His children, favored and adopted into His family, and that this truth is unreversible?
How many of us can look at someone—look at ourselves, even—with completely pure and uncluttered sight? This is how Jesus looks at people. It’s a difficult thing to describe, but when we notice it in a person (which, sadly, is rare) we can begin to understand. It’s a look that says, “I understand. You’re not alone. You’re not crazy. It’s not hopeless. You will see again.” The eye is the window to the soul, as many of us have heard. I think the majority of us walk around with a level of darkened sight that keeps us from fully knowing and being fully known, and this is where so much of our frustration stems from. Allow me to explain as best I can. If we’re not seeing things correctly, if our eyes are “darkened” and therefore not allowing us clear sight, and someone looks into our eyes (which are windows), how can they fully know us if those windows are dark? Just as we see out dimly, they see in dimly. I think, though, that when someone looks at us with pure acceptance and light, it offers hope. And it stirs our longing to have clear eyes ourselves. See, it’s not perfection that we’re looking for. It’s honesty and love, both received and given. But even so, often when the light comes it’s so radically different from what we’ve known that the darkness still within us doesn’t know what to do with it.
So what if we allowed the light, which is Jesus, to obliterate the darkness so we can see again? To do this all we must do is let go. And be willing to lay aside what we know, what we’re familiar with, and become empty and bare—children again. It can be frightening to admit that we don’t really know very much or that we’ve been looking at life through a darkened, and therefore untrue, lens. But how else will we be healed—how will we accept the One who came to show us a different way—if we don’t become like children? It is clear in John chapter 1 that in order to fully enter into our identity as the children of God, we must lay aside our former ways of thinking. It says the world that He Himself created did not even recognize Him when He came. Why? Because it had already formed its own ideas and beliefs based on years of experiences. Jesus also taught us that to enter His kingdom we must be born again. I think this rebirth must happen on a continual basis rather than be assigned to a one-time event.
We need our sight healed. And we need our hearts healed. We need to let our Father discount some of our experiences, thoughts, and beliefs so that we can know the truth. Because Jesus came to our world to bring truth. And for those willing to be born again—to start over, in other words—His light will displace every darkness that formerly identified us or kept us back from the fullness of the reality of being God’s children.
If our darkened sight can be replaced with light, we will be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and offer grace, and see a child of God. In addition we will be able to look at others and offer this same grace, this understanding that we’re all on a journey, reassuring them that their sight will come. If they just let go. If more and more of us can begin to let this light overcome the darkness in our sight and inside our souls, we will have the ability to be fully known. Known and loved. Not because of our perfection, but because the truth has always been that we are children of a perfect God and already accepted.
So I asked God once again to heal my eyes and to heal my heart, because it is my most desperate need.
Listen to this song if you will, and below it I will describe a picture that God showed me the other night which helped me to further understand how His openness creates a safe place for us to open up and be known.
The image God brought to my mind when I listened to this song was of Him standing before me, His chest all open and bared so that you could see His heart. His heart was bright, absolutely full of light. He took one of my hands and put it on His heart so I could feel it, then he held my hand there. I was so overcome with this sense of the vulnerability of God—it was beautiful. He helped me see, through this image, that he reserves nothing of Himself from us if we merely want Him and seek Him. He lets us feel His heart, know His pain, even. He doesn’t hold anything back. He told me that before He requires me to share things with Him, He first shares Himself. He doesn’t hold back waiting for us to be ready or know how to expose ourselves. He instead bares Himself and shows us the way with this intense, beautiful gentleness. This, my friends, is how our walls will come down, how our darkness will be made light. In the very act of Jesus coming and taking on the nature of a man, He entered into utter vulnerability. He will never demand something of us He has not first understood or experienced Himself.