FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ Matthew 13:15 (New American Standard Version)

 

The other day I went in for an ultrasound, and no, I’m not pregnant.

Typically, I’m not one to jump to “worst case” scenarios, so as I lay on that table, I’d given the “results” very little thought and I felt, going in, it was an appointment that would have been as uneventful as going to the dentist. I felt I was just checking my “self-care” box for the day.

The reason for the appointment? Pain. Nothing life altering. I just find myself in more pain than normal, so I figured this was reason enough to get myself to the doctor.

So, as I lay on that table, warm, squishy gel on my abdomen, screen and technician to my right, I started to HEAR, THINK, and FEEL…and then I SAW. I HEARD the “click, click, click” of her capturing images of what the ultrasound was showing her. Then I started to THINK about all of the terrible things that she could be seeing. I started to FEEL scared. What if my pain really meant there were big problems? What if it were cancer? What if I had a tumor? What if I only had a few months to live? In a matter of moments, I went from being completely calm to completely freaked out.

So, when she turned the screen a bit towards me, I took my chances to LOOK and SEE. As I gazed at the grey, white, and black swirls and splotches, I tried to analyze what she was taking so many pictures of. These grey blobs, circles, and swirls meant nothing to me. I wanted to understand more clearly what I was looking at. Then, in an attempt to calm my nerves, I engaged in conversation, “It’s amazing to me that you actually know what you’re looking at when you see at that screen!” She replied calmly, “Yes, it took many years to train my eyes for this.”

I thought about having “trained eyes” and what that could mean in our lives as Christians. I think, often times, we move through life and as we look around we see a mess that doesn’t make much sense….because when we see the beautiful stuff in our lives, everything makes sense. We don’t really ask many questions about what we’re seeing or experiencing when things are going well (or at least I don’t!). But when life seems white, black and grey.. and full of splotches, swirls, circles and blobs that don’t look like anything much….THAT’S when we get scared, frustrated, angry, discontent, and we start asking Him questions.

I think that some people are better than others at accepting those “grey moments” that have no definition. Those days, months, or years that don’t seem to make much sense. Some people have “trained their eyes and ears” for years…they’ve read the Bible, prayed, watched, and gained an understanding. Perhaps they just have years more of walking and talking with God about life. They’ve looked at their own lives, others’ lives, the lives of those in the Bible, and even Jesus’ life and have come to accept that those grey, blotchy, splotchy moments MEAN something. Sometimes these people with “trained eyes” may not understand more than others, but they have a calm, a peace, and a presence about them through their FAITH and TRUST. These seemingly insignificant messes (and even beautiful moments) might mean that there IS a “life tumor” that needs to be removed (a relationship? a job?), a “Life mass “(a toxic cycle of communication? A way of dealing with a child?) that needs to be taken out. Sometimes, people with “trained, spiritual eyes” can look at something in life and know there is a “cancer” (sin?) that needs to be treated, over time, with care and respect…and this treatment won’t be easy. They may not like it, but it’s the best thing, and it could save a life.

Me? I have tried, somewhat over the years, to have “trained eyes”. I don’t want a dull heart. I want my ears to hear, my eyes to see and my heart to understand what HE is doing in those “gray, black and white” moments that seem like they are just irritations. But I am only human, and I often I look to Him before I put on my “trained eyes” and I cry out asking “Why!??” And I say things like “This isn’t fair!” and, “I just don’t GET THIS!” But after some time, He gently reminds me that HE knows what HE is doing. I put on my “spiritual glasses” and try to see things with my “trained eyes”….and in time, little by little, things become clearer. The splotches and swirls make more sense, and while I may not like what the “ultrasound report” says, I “SEE” it is all under His Heavenly, Mighty, control and guidance. And then, ultimately, looking with my “trained, spiritual eyes”…gradually, it helps “heal” my calloused outlook, my wounded, tired spirit, or my broken heart…and I find the peace and calm that only HE can bring.

Shara Carter

Shara Carter

Hosea 2: 14-15