Another Point of View

Friday, July 25

night owlBy Joann Condit of Phoenix, Arizona, USA

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

—Colossians 3:12–15 NRSV

Since birth, I never remember a time when anything more than a few feet away appeared clear and sharp in my sight. Doctors tested my eyes when I was 11. I have worn glasses or contacts for nearly seven decades.

I had cataract surgery this year, and now I see! What a transformation! I can see far and near, in vivid color, in crisp detail. It is, to me, a tangible miracle. I expressed that thought to my eye doctor and asked him if people thank him for miracles. He laughed and said he hears that sentiment almost daily, adding, “I am on the happy side of medicine.”

He said that when he was a medical student, he and his girlfriend caught the distinctive cry of an owl and stopped to search the trees. He spotted the outline of an owl in a tree some distance away and pointed it out. She saw it immediately and said, “Oh, look at its cute little ears!”

He could not see the features in detail as she could. He mused, “I have often thought what it would be like to look through her eyes and be able to see what she sees.”

What change would occur in our lives if we could see through the eyes of another—physical eyes, mental eyes, or spiritual eyes? What if we could see clearly what the other sees? What would it be like to see from another’s perspective—walk in another’s shoes, have compassion for another’s life journey?

Prayer for Peace God grant us new eyes to see, new hearts to understand, and new compassion. Guide us to your peace.

Spiritual Practice: Tears of Compassion Offer a silent prayer for the gift of God’s compassion. Cup your hands and ask God to make you aware of the suffering that causes the Earth and its inhabitants to groan and weep. Be open to faces or places, sounds or voices, feelings of connection with those who suffer. Imagine catching the tears of those you see and holding them in your hands. Listen for prayer images or words God may give you. Discern any active responses of ministry or healing God invites you to complete for those who weep.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will try to walk in the shoes of another to gain a new perspective for peace.

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1 Comment

  1. Janné Grover

     /  25 July 2014

    Thank you, Joann, for this lovely reminder that we don’t all see the world the same way. We need one another to see the world more completely. It brings to mind a wonderful new hymn, “We Need Each Other’s Voice to Sing,” (CCS 324). I am thankful for both of these reminders of the rich blessings of community!


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