I first saw hunger with my own eyes when I was in Mexico. It was my first outreach project and I was collecting garbage with a few local girls, when a small group approached us and asked us if we had food. I didn’t know much Spanish then, but I knew by the word comida and the look in their eyes, that they were hungry. I said, “No,” for our outreach did not include food, but the memory has stuck with me ever since.
The next summer, I saw people in a different way. I noticed the homeless and saw the hunger in their eyes as well. I’d never thought people in my own country were that needy, having assumed that drug addictions were the main source of such problems. But the more people I saw that summer, the more I realized the wrongness in my eyes. Perhaps they were drug addicts, perhaps they weren’t. Maybe they’d made a million mistakes or maybe just a thousand. It didn’t really matter. I learned to see them as people and that they had the same needs and desires as I did.
Beliefs and perceptions are powerful things. In my Critical Issues in the Arts class, I’ve been reading articles called Seeing by Annie Dillard and Interpretation by J.E. Russon. Honestly, my mind is not yet developed enough to tell you exactly how one sees or interprets. I’m still less than half-way done my module review, which is due tomorrow and these philosophies are quite beyond me. But all of this has gotten me to thinking: how do I see the world? How do I perceive others? What are my prejudices? How do I love? How do I see myself? How do I see God?
It’s not as simple as I once thought. Just because there’s a table in the kitchen and my eyes see it that does not mean I only see a table or that I even see it at all. Sometimes I see things as more than they are. My mind wanders and I become upset about issues that do not have to be issues. Other times I see people as less than they are. My heart disdains the beauty that God has made because my eyes will not look far enough. The surfaces of life can be a deadly trap for the eye.
So how do I see the world and the people in it as God sees them? How do I see the Lord as He intended me to perceive Him? How can I look at myself the way that I should? How must I train my eyes to discover beauty in everything and love as He has loved?
The answers are beyond my perception. Perhaps they always will be. But I want to look harder and deeper and longer at the things placed before me, no matter how hard they may be. Because I don’t like the way in which I see; I want new eyes with sharper lenses.
God, let me see as you see. And let me do as you do, too. Amen.