Sunday, October 28, 2012

My teacher, let me see again.

Proper 25: Job 42: 1-6, 10-17 Psalm 34:1-8 Hebrews 7:23-28 Mark 10:46-52
It's about seeing. It's about sight. It's about the Lord opening the eyes of the blind and the blindered.

Sometimes, the hardest challenge is being willing to look. We describe many things as “eye-opening” experiences. Often, the other adjectives are “sobering” and “world-changing” and that's scary. Even in a situation that is horrible, you often know the boundaries. It becomes comfortable, a known quantity, and it's easy not to look beyond where we find ourselves, because it's a strange world out there. It may be better, it is often worse, it is always different. Change, in perspectives, in realities, in the perspectives of reality, of someone else's reality...that's hard, shifting out of the world we know so well. It will leave marks, visible or invisible. It's a choice.

People say there are things that one can't unsee, but that's not true. Memory is subject to will, and the choice to forget, to ignore, is present. We watch people do this every day; the boss who does not see bullying, the person who walks right past a beggar. We can choose our blinders, to narrow our perspectives down to what is acceptable, what will fit with the world we want to know. There is a burden on the Christian, though, to not do that. God opens eyes, and it's our duty to not close them again. The world is our stewardship, we must see it as it is in order to put it back in order. That means feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and it means if we can do nothing else, we have a responsibility to see, to acknowledge, to know, because it is someone else's reality, even when it is not our own. That's scary, that's strange, and that is the choice we have, because to see often creates another burden, one on our hearts, to change the status quo, to make the impossible possible. It will drag us out of our comfortable world, where the boundaries are known, into somewhere, something else, and once you start to practice seeing, it becomes difficult to stop.

 Remember, though, to not use the other set of blinders, the ones with the wider range of view, but only of the negative things. Despair follows, for the world is full of things about which to wail and sorrow. But God enjoins us to also see the good things – the bright fall day, the perfection of a child's smile, the joy of people in love. Seeing is a skill, it is a duty, a responsibility, a joy; the gift of God, sight to the blind.

 Taste and see that the Lord is good.