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Weekly Devotional

Eyes to See

Reflection by Liz Garrigan Byerly

Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?

 

During college I spent my summers working in the landscape department for a large retirement community which prided itself on its beautiful grounds. I did many things but mostly I weeded. We were not allowed to sit down while working and we didn’t like startling residents by lingering outside their windows, so I learned how to scan a flower bed quickly and see every weed. I spent so much time doing this that I began to only see weeds, even when I wasn’t at work. At a friend’s house, in front of a doctor’s office, while out on a walk, I couldn’t help but notice the weeds.

This “skill” has stuck with me. The courtyard of my church in Pennsylvania was beautifully landscaped except for one corner, I thought. It was full of weeds and no one seemed to notice. I once casually asked someone about those weeds, offering to pull them. He looked at me quizzically; those were a special variety of plant meant for shady, acidic flower beds, like that corner. They weren’t weeds; they were exactly what we needed there.

Sometimes the issue is not that we have closed our eyes. Sometimes it is that we are so focused on one thing, we miss everything else. We focus so much on what needs to be done next that we miss out on what is happening now. We focus so much on the problem that we miss the grace. We focus so much on what we can do that we miss out on what God is doing. I wonder what we might see if we shift our gaze?

Holy God, refocus our eyes and retune our ears so that we may fully see and hear you. Amen.

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