"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you,
I want to see you -
holy, holy, holy..."
Last week's Bible study was rife with reminders that it's all about seeing what is right in front of you through different eyes. I haven't been able to move on from those scriptural messages this week. I've woken with the Women of Faith's version of Paul Baloche's "Open the Eyes of My Heart" singing through my veins this week. I wanted to think about it more, but each day seemed to make its demands on my thoughts before I could find the time to really ponder it.
But this morning, I lingered in the space of stillness...that conscious vestibule between sleeping and waking where I am only aware of my thoughts, not the sentience of seeing the room around me, hearing the birds outside our windows, or feeling the quilts and linens around me...and stayed with last week's messages about "seeing" for as long as I could. This space of conscious being is my favorite place to "abide," and it was in this mental room that I finally saw the relationship between the story of Elisha and his servant facing the army of the King of Syria, and Jesus' parable of the householder who finds his field is sown with wheat and tares.
For the first time I noticed the contrast between the worrisome King of Syria's suspicion that someone in his own household had betrayed his location to the King of Israel, and the peaceful householder in Jesus' parable who never once accuses a member of his own household, but immediately states, "an enemy hath done it" and confidently trusts the power of Spirit, the breath of God, to separate the tares from the wheat...much the way the prophet Elisha, in the former story, was sure that his servant would be able to see an army of angels "round about Elisha," if his eyes were just opened to God's universal goodness.
Right where the servant's fear saw a host of enemies, the eyes of the prophet's heart, the lens of Love, revealed only a host of angels. An enemy becomes a friend through the eyes of Love. Love never sees anything but the child of God. There weren't two different armies...but the transformation of an enemy fitted for battle, into a host of angels ready to bless and protect. The tares of fear, hatred, suspicion, and distrust blew away in the strong breath of spiritual vision.
As I was pondering this, I realized how true it is that we never need to sort our global "neighbors" (or household) into friends and enemies, but to change our sense of them into only "children of God" or, as the prophet promised, "a host of angels round about" us.
Whether we seem to be a facing a border dispute with a contentious neighbor, battling with memories of a time when we were in conflict with a family member, burdened by fears that a future event could devolve into hurt and regret, or hear about a gunman terrorizing a Texas university campus, through prayer, we can always "open the eyes of our hearts" to the freshening breath of Spirit, see "even this" through the lens of a loving prophet vision, and begin to .diffuse fear, hatred and anger with the gentling hand of Soul.
Today, as I was looking for a favorite passage from Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art," I accidentally googled the title backwards, and up popped a reference to Napolean Bonaparte's "The Art of War," highlighting this quote:
"The extent of your consciousness
is limited only by your ability to love
and to embrace with your love
the space around you, and all it contains"
I was stunned. This was not the kind of thinking I'd associated with a man I had always considered a pint-sized dictator with a hungry, mad ambition to rule Europe, and a relentless drive to push his army across a frozen continent towards their doom.
Suddenly I wanted to know more. I was interested in knowing him, in understanding more about a man I'd long dismissed out of hand as not very admirable. What a wake up call.
All day I've been asking myself, "how have I been seeing my "neighbors" (globally and locally) as enemies, when I could just as easily "open the eyes of my heart" and see them as "holy, holy, holy"....as friends who may have some arrestingly beautiful thoughts to share and viewpoints that could enrich my life with vision and inspiration.
Again, Mary Baker Eddy's statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures reminds me:
"The very circumstance which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares. Then, thought gently whispers..."
I love it when Mind, expressing itself as consciousness, surprises me with a gift of grace...
thank you God,
Kate Robertson, CS