“Do you see anything?” A Stereogram. You know, those funny posters that cause us to pause and ultimately cross our eyes with hopes of seeing the picture. Once you train your eyes to see it, it’s easy to see. Trained sight. [Note: the answer to what is in the picture is at the bottom of this devotion, you have to read ALL the way down.]
Recently, Mark my beloved and I were asked to take the night of teaching at our Marrieds Group while our faithful leaders were enjoying some much-needed time away and relaxing. We opened with Mark carrying around a tray of multiple small household items, (i.e. car keys, black electrical tape, screw driver, ballpoint pen, nail polish etc – etc) each participant was asked, “See what is in front of you, remember it, learn it.” Each person was to later write down what they saw in front of them. This game sound familiar? Some have played a variation of this at Baby Showers. However, as Mark left the room, (and the folks wrote their answers) I asked them to refer to their list and see how close they came. I began …”What color shirt was Mark wearing?” “Does he wear glasses… does he have a beard … tennis shoes or cowboy boots?” Groanings and “Oh man!” was now being heard among the couple dozen folks. The instructions were, “See what is in front of you, remember it, learn it.”
The Lord has been showing me, that often we don’t ‘see’ what is right in front of us, we are busy seeing what ‘WE’ think is important, (read that again: ‘We see what WE think is important’) Observation is HUGE, being aware is valuable, wisdom and training is a must. Remember the repeated intimate greeting in the movie, Avatar, “I see you.” Oh that we would SEE! See our loved ones, with observation and awareness. Lord, train us with YOUR wisdom… to see.
I was taken to the book of Mark, (sharing with the group) chapter 8, to set the context: A few folks approached Jesus and the disciples, begging Jesus
to heal their friend who was blind. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and took him out of the village. “When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (verses 23-25) Amazing story, nothing like Holy DNA in your eyes!
When Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He basically asked him if he had the ability to see, do you have your SIGHT? The man replied that he could see, but it was blurry. So Jesus again put His hands on him and the man could now see clearly. NOT just the ability to see, but see in DETAIL. The word used to describe his sight, he saw everything ‘clearly‘, means he now had enough information to contemplate and consider, to think about (something or someone) carefully, especially in order to make a choice or decision. Jesus didn’t leave him with JUST the ability to see, He wanted him to have MORE! More to see beyond what was just in front of him ‘People, as if trees walking around.” He NEEDED to see more.
Narrowing this down to our lives, unpacking down to even our relationships, “How do we see?” How do we see our spouses and those closest to us. Are they a bit blurry. Do we seek to see in detail? (metaphorically speaking).
I asked Mark to share with the group a few things he had seen in me, observed over the last couple of years, “You are far more creative than analytical, I am the opposite. You like variety: You don’t like to watch two episodes of the same show in a row, your coffee or cocoa needs to be different each day, I drink my coffee the same everyday, just black.” He continues, “If you feel you should know how to do something or can figure it out, I need to be careful about trying to jump in and help you right away, it may only frustrate you.” Hm… I might add, GREAT sight!
Often to fully understand something, it helps to look at what it is NOT, at the opposite. The opposite of what Mark narrated about the blind man seeing ‘clearly’ (in reference to this in the Greek) ‘paratheoreo’ it is to overlook, disregard or neglect. Here’s the kicker, ‘to be CARELESS with the information received.’ Yup, BLIND! But it is more, it is in the response. Using this, how would it be if my loving husband were ‘careless’ with the information he observed about me, if he neglected and discarded it as useless. WOW! ‘Seeing’ is not only gathering information (observation) but valuing it as worthwhile to address and take action accordingly. This screams, “I love you, I value you!” Make sense?
Once we gather this ‘seeing’ information about our loved one, (my observation of my husband) “Hm… he is very quiet when I ask him a question about doing something” Long pause on his end. I too pause and ask God for wisdom, “If any lacks wisdom he should ask of God who gives generously to all.” – James 1:5 Wisdom, ‘inviting the practical application of my God into my very moment’ (DeDe’s definition) Not disregarding that I have noticed that if I push him for an answer or neglect that he is a ‘Thinker’ and thinks things through quietly and solidly, I would indeed be careless and overlook him for my own agenda. Wise sight.
The author of Psalms 119 wrote, “… train me well in Your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder Your miracle-wonders.” (verses 26-27) Further on, “Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living Your way. Before I learned to answer You, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with Your word. You are good, and the source of good, train me in Your goodness.” (verses 66-68 The Message, emphasis mine)
Jesus may have to take us by the hand and take us out, to help us see, like He did the blind man. He may have to lay His hands on us more than once, to open our eyes, see clearly and heal us. Healed sight.
Like the Stereogram above, it may be blurry, but may we ask God to help us see, see our spouses with understanding and insight. May we have Wise sight. When God shows us things, wise things, allow Him to train us in ‘good common sense’ (love that) how to apply what we have learned. Trained sight.
Lord, help us to see our loved ones.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)
Pssst… the hidden picture above in the stereogram, is three crosses over the empty tomb of Jesus. Oh and Mark was wearing a long-sleeve blue shirt, he does wear glasses, has a goatee and had on neither tennis shoes or boots, but brown casual dress shoes.