February 6, 2021

Beyond Hearsay

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:5-6
Seeing is believing, we're told. If we hear about something second- or third-hand, it might be nothing more than idle gossip. But if we are eyewitnesses to an event, if we experience it ourselves, then we are forced to think about it—perhaps even make it part of our truth.

In the Bible, this sight—sometimes it's vision, sometimes insight—might be described as a crisis of faith. And when it's received by the person of faith, the result is a re-orienting of one's life. Because that's what's meant by the word repent: turning around or facing a new direction.

All of us experience a crisis of faith at least once in our lives. If we're paying attention, perhaps each day brings its own crossroads. The real question is, are we paying attention? Are we truly experiencing the life we're living, moving from hearsay to experience? When we hear about God as Creator, are we truly envisioning ourselves as a full participant in God's creation? When we hear about God's love, can we see ourselves as its recipient? When we hear the cries of those in pain, do we see Christ in their suffering? 

To see God everywhere is to believe in God. And to believe in God is to see God everywhere. For the disciple of Christ, to live is to repent, to re-orient oneself. And no matter which direction we're headed, there we will see the God we once only heard about.

Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
 Acts 9:3-5
Prayer after meditation:
✙ 
O God, against whom we struggle, you speak with the voice of the persecuted and call the oppressor to turn to you: Confront in us the violence that we enact or consent to, that our strength may be made perfect in weakness, and we may put our trust in you.
 Janet Morley, All Desires Known
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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