Tuesday, December 08, 2015

through others' eyes: december synchroblog

through others' eyes

The final synchroblog of 2015 also is the second inning of the new synchroblog group and page. Liz Dyer suggested the topic; K. W. Leslie hosts again:
Of course there are all sorts of directions you can go with this. How do you see through the eyes of other people? How do they see through yours? How do you sympathize with Christ, Christ sympathize with you, Christ sympathizes with other people, other people sympathize with Christ... yeah, I guess I covered all the permutations. Wait! How does Christ see through the eyes of other Christians when they see through your eyes? Oh yeah, we can go wild with this one.

Every time I think of eyes and scripture, I remember J in Monday evening women's bible study reminding us "the eyes are the most sensitive part of our bodies, so the eyes of our hearts would mean exquisite sensitivity to the situations and needs of others." Ephesians 1:18 was J's reference, though I don't recall our study topic. Some versions of the Greek give us eyes of the mind (thought, understanding, comprehension) – διανοίας – rather than heart – καρδίας – but all the Greek texts include eyes, the body part that along with our brain (mind!) creates our physical vision, our actual view of the world. By the way, in Hebrew biology the heart primarily is the seat of the will rather than of the emotions.

Scripture and eyes also evokes Psalm 145:15-16 as an invitation to offer thanks before a meal: "The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing."

Seeing, visioning, perceiving, and acting with another's eyes (as K.W. suggests) ideally turns around at least a few degrees so others begin to see situations and people as you perceive them. But this mostly is about walking in the other person's sandals, learning some of their experiences, comprehending with your mind and even feeling with your heart (and soul) the why of their actions, the what of their dreams. The gospel accounts of Jesus' highly relational, always appropriately responsive interactions with other humans from all types of situations, classes, and aspirations are the models for our own behaviors. However, in the midst of many of those stories, we hear about Jesus' followers and his disciples often less than sensitive, frequently even inappropriate reactions to people and situations. Our blog prompt asks "how we can (are able to) see through the eyes of other people." Jesus' disciples had the living walking breathing talking Jesus from Nazareth as their example, and they still didn't get it right all the time. Just like them, we need to get our heads and our hearts (our wills, emotions, intentions) synced! I Photoshopped the eye image KW provided to portray different people viewing the same thing, but besides making all the eyes different, maybe I needed to change the color, size, skew, and other aspects of the words?

How can I view the world through the eyes of others, and how do they see through my eyes? I've been making an ongoing effort to talk more about myself—my history, experiences, likes, preferences, dreams, dislikes, and disgusts. People know only what they literally can see, which they then filter through their own history, experiences, dislikes, and disappointments. It's tough for me, because I've encountered too many people whose only topic of discourse is themselves. I know very well I'm far far away from that, yet still hesitate to make myself more than an incidental subject of what we're talking about at this time. However, that's still a major way I can be a factor in how friends, strangers, acquaintances, and random others view me and interact with me. Similar to when we reach a certain age – which I hope is by late teens or early twenties at the latest – and begin to have a clue where our parents and their parents have been, what has made them who they are, how they are. All in all, I have no concrete solution for this month's synchroblog question, but I pray and hope:
18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1 NRSV
As the Church, we are the body of the crucified and risen Christ. That body includes our eyes, our vision, our mind, and our perception. Waiting upon God, and satisfying the desires and needs of every living thing, because we've learned to see and perceive who they are and what they need.

eyes icon December synchroblog

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