What and How Do You See?

Isn’t it true that we are immersed in God all the time? Does not our faith tell us that God surrounds us with His loving and caring presence each moment; that we are held firmly and gently by God, like a father would hold his little baby? But do we see it? Do we truly feel or experience it?

As I see the leaves change into beautiful colors and, of course, my house gets chillier, I wonder what we see in the changing season! For some people, all they see and think is that the gloom and blue days are around the corner; for others the beautiful colors on the trees only indicate that the beautiful time of summer is over and we are heading into those dreadful cold winter months. This last point is even made clearer as some leave for the warmer part of the country.

But one could also see in the changing leaves God’s immeasurable artistry. Everywhere I look and see those beautiful colors I cannot help but stop and wonder the Divine wisdom behind the changes. Whatever the scientific explanation, I still wonder at how warm sunny days of summer just gradually and without apology, give way to these days of autumn, with utmost surrender. As summer surrenders to autumn, so too the whole of nature – trees, air, wind, and even water! For through this surrender nature goes through the cycle of death and rebirth, trusting in the goodness and kindness of the Lord of the universe.

As the leaves change colors and surrender to the new situation in faith, so our lives, through the uncontrollable events we encounter, open us to the surrounding presence of the Divine around us, and invite us to surrender. “Jesus is passing this way”, one song says, but do we see Him? “This way”, is every way and every situation we are in. He passes by us and will continue to pass by. But we are often blocked by our expectations, stubborn desires, psychological baggage, rejection of the reality before us, all kinds of complaints, etc. Thus, we all, like the blind Bartimaeus in this weekend’s gospel, should sincerely cry out from the depth of our hearts: “Master that I may see” (Mk. 10.51). This cry is a cry of surrender to the healing power of Our Lord; that our manner of seeing is not leading us to true peace and joy. When we let the Lord open our eyes and we begin to see and feel the presence of God around us and in our EVERY situation, then we can indeed shout with the psalmist that the whole creation is filled with the glory of God (Ps. 19.1), even that “horrible situation”, for God truly is with his people every step of the way (Ex. 13.21; Mt. 1.23).

Everything in life depends on what and how we see. If we see God’s goodness around, we will be filled with joy and peace; if we see a bright future in the present situation, we will be filled with faith and hope; if we see the hand of God training and leading us to Him and deeper into ourselves through the painful situation we live in, then we experience the peace of surrender to God who knows everything. If we see love and kindness around, our hearts will move to love and kindness. But if we see death and hopelessness around, our joys and peace will be foreclosed; if we see futility in our efforts, we lose energy and surrender to despair and immobilization.