Tuesday 8/8/2017 6:16 AM
I often pray that God would give me eyes to see the world the way he sees it. The result of that prayer is that I am more aware of the brokenness of our world and I look at people with more compassion that I did before. It’s easy to become judgmental and cynical if you have no empathy for others. In the book Living with Apocalypse, Tilden Edwards writes, “Spiritual awareness for Christians, at its fullest, means seeing life through God’s sound eye. We could use other senses to describe this awareness: hearing life through God’s ear, touching life through God’s strength, feeling life through God’s compassion. … Saint Paul called us to live in the mind of Christ so fully that we can say with him, ‘Not I, but Christ, lives in me.’ The ‘I’ that no longer lives then is the one that sees itself as an ultimately self-willed, self-centered being. The new ‘I’ is one that lives moment by moment in the awareness that we are an intimate and unique expression of God’s joy and compassion, living freely by grace, called to reverberate the joy and compassion, utterly interdependent with Creator and creation. The test of any spiritual discipline is whether or not it assists this deep awareness for us. Without spiritual discipline we become easier prey to the old ‘I’ that is full of possessiveness, fear, greed, anxiety, violence, indolence, untrustworthiness, willfulness, confusion, and all the other marks of life disconnected from our true being in God.”
When I look at the society in which I live I see many people who are possessive, fearful, greedy, anxious, violent, indolent, untrustworthy, willful, and confused. This is not surprising if Edwards is right about the way people live when they are disconnected from their true being in God. The most troubling to me is these are also the characteristics of those who make the strongest claim to being Christian. It seems impossible that those who are looking at others through the eyes of Christ would be so self-centered, concerned only for themselves without concern for others. As the broader Christian community we need to be more compassionate and less judgmental. This, of course, must begin with me.