Posts Tagged ‘success and failure’

Mark 8:22-26: Adjusting Our Vision

Monday, September 10, 2018

Written on January 11 and posted today as a favorite . . .

The January 10 Noontime struck a chord with a number of people; today the theme continues: We look at how we must give ourselves time to adjust to the newness of something.   Before we leap into action, clutching our new gift of sight, we must first allow Jesus to verify that what we are seeing . . . is what is actually before us to be seen.  We must calibrate our vision with God’s reality.

I love to watch Jesus heal; and I try to learn from his gentle, three-part triptych of interchange.  Jesus moves us forward through a process of deep and significant change . . . if we remain open to possibility.

Jesus often enters into dialog with us by asking, “What is it you want from me?”  He is humble enough to give us think-time and to genuinely ask about our own perception of who we are and what we believe we need from him.

He regularly makes certain that the newness of his healing is not overwhelming, that it does not throw us out of balance.  He is loving enough to know that we are easily knocked off center and confused when there is a change in our surroundings or in our method of interacting with the world.

And finally, Jesus makes certain that we know where to go and what to do next with our newness.  He is wise enough to know that we are most vulnerable when we are taking our first steps at anything.  Sometimes he warns us to say nothing to anyone.  At other times he recommends a visit to the priests for a final blessing.  Most often, there is the request that we allow the newness in us to change our lives and the lives around us for the better.

Today we see Jesus heal a blind man.  Being God, he knows that the miracle has taken place yet . . . he asks for the man’s impression:  Do you see anything?  When the man replies that people look like trees walking, Jesus lays his hands on him again.  This time the sight is true.  He could see everything distinctly. 

I am thinking about all of the times Jesus has brought me through a kind of blindness to see what is obvious.  What was once walking trees becomes people.  A fuzzy uncertainty becomes crystalline reality . . . God’s reality.  I must remember to always allow God to adjust my vision . . . for I do not want to mistake people for trees.

A re-post from August 10, 2011.

Image from: http://horizonproject2008.wikispaces.com/CWeb+Science_Health

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1 Peter 2: Shepherd of Souls

Sunday, June 26, 2016

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter's Shop

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter’s Shop

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)

We humans tend to shy away from suffering of any kind, even when we know that we learn from our mistakes and not from our successes. As we consider our many failures, rather than focus on our imperfections, let us rather consider how persistent we might be in following the one true Shepherd of souls.

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John Herbert: The Youth of Our Lord

Critics comment that Herbert foreshadows the cross with the workshop bits on the ground and we see how the young Jesus stares intently at these pieces of wood which have carelessly fallen into the shape of a cross. The family in Millais’s painting was seen as too “ordinary” when it was first shown. What might the criticism be today?

To learn more about these paintings, click on the images. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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