Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
TITLE: Open the Eyes of My Heart
By Beth Muehlhausen
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Her eyes function well mechanically and yet fear and dark misconceptions cloud her life vision. How did she become so anxious, so blind to hope? Did the eyes of her heart slowly atrophy from neglect and misdirection? Did the eyelids seal shut in a way that hardened her heart?
If only she could discover my heart-view this morning as I gaze at the early morning lake and recognize...myself! Reflected images seem a bit fuzzy and mysterious, but the water itself captivates, comforts and invites me. A playful fish jumps as mist rolls across the glassy surface like giant sheets of cotton. The lake seems…relaxed. Peace, assurance, confidence – these are mine. They are also my vision for her.
Conversely, her countenance reminds me of a carving knife: sharp, cold and angular. Her gaze seems distant, worrisome, and tense. I dislike how I feel in her presence: weighted down, storm-tossed, hopeless.
Ah, I will invite her to the lake! I will hope for a breakthrough; pray for God to soften her heart; trust the sun and waves to speak of ongoing hope. She lacks healthy soul-eyes to see what I see, and yet perhaps a reflected laser of sunshine will break into her stony heart and force open a crack. Perhaps she will see a Light she has not seen before.
She is ripe for rescue, having fallen into a black hole of depression, self-absorption, and despair. Might she be able to see how much of a speck she is, here in this place? A speck belonging to a Bigger Picture already in motion – like each wild swan and minnow, each snail and clam and water beetle? Would she feel a sense of belonging; of peace?
The day has hardly begun as I stare out the window, searching for clues to her healing. There - a great blue heron perches on the top of our elevated boat canopy to survey breakfast possibilities. A solitary bird, he rarely visits us during the busy hours of the day. I can respect that.
She may also need a lofty place where she is inspired to see beyond her current limitations.
And look – an early morning fisherman bends over the side of his boat. His eagerness may reap a reward, and yet he is free from expectation and will return another day if the catch is small.
She might flourish in the midst of such purposeful freedom.
If only she could see these things in the same way! But that is not my job, I reason. Better to imagine myself in her shoes, desperate for a new start.
I close my eyes and begin to sing – perhaps to the blue heron, perhaps to the Holy Spirit who can instill desire in the heart of my lost friend.
“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.
Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see You,
I want to see You.”
I open my eyes just as the heron spreads his massive wings and soars.
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