Recently in Sunday School, we studied the story of Elisha who was gifted with supernatural eyesight. He had eyes to see the host of horses and chariots of fire surrounding and protecting him and his servant from the Arameans on a deadly mission. He saw and was not afraid. His servant, however, was blinded to that reality– until Elisha prayed for his eyes to be opened.
Jotted in the column of my Bible beside the story I found this note: “The way things really ARE is not always obvious,” a comment attributed to Mr. Brubaker some years ago.
Unseen realities surround me every day, and yet I often feel sucked into living as if what I observe with my natural eyes were the whole of reality. Could I have Elisha pray for me? I too need eyes to see what really is, and the courage that accompanies a correct perspective.
In the book of Revelation, I read how Jesus counseled the church at Laodicea to buy eye salve from Him, an anointing salve that would enable them to see. Reading that sounds like an invitation to acknowledge my own blindness and earnestly petition this anointing salve so that I too could be released to see beyond the mere physical circumstances surrounding me. Maybe I too could receive new eyesight.
This new vision could mean catching glimpses of what is going on in a student’s heart underneath his unruly behavior instead of focusing only, or primarily, on the disrespectful actions so obvious to my physical eyes. It might even mean simply being able to see that it is worth my time and energy to seek for the heart motive behind those irritating responses in lieu of impatiently dishing out curt consequences. Connecting with the erring child in a safe environment and then asking, “Can you tell me what is going on in your heart?” might result in a whole new perspective—and opportunity.
When a child has dared to be vulnerable, allowing me a peek into his heart, I have most often seen deep fear or rejection, revealing thoughts and feelings I had no clue lay in the student’s soul. What a precious gift, an open door inviting redemptive interaction. And how different from focusing only on the outer behavior.
Again today, Lord, please grant me eyes to see!
CONTRIBUTOR: Betty Yoder