10 Ways Seeing Can Empower Our Lives

by Mark Votava


What does blindness mean?  I often ask myself this question as I pursue what is authentic to me.  Have I become blind to my responsibility to be an expression of love in the world?  I believe that when we stop living with a posture of love we become blind.

Are the religious blind?  I think they are sometimes because a lot of people do not live valuing love in their lives.  And many people live this way as they proclaim a God of love.  But nobody is listening because they have stopped seeing clearly and have virtually no love for anyone.  This is a sad tragedy for sure.

I am coming to see that most of theology is meaningless without love.  Without love we cannot understand a mysterious God who is the creator of love.  Everyone wants to be loved and valued so why can’t we figure out how to be an expression of this love instead of an expression of judgement.  It seems that Jesus taught that love is the center of everything.

Here is a longing of my soul to be an expression of love:

Lead us to be an expression of love.  Let love guide everything we do.  We want this more than what money can buy, what entertainment can offer and what power can obtain.  Love is all that matters.

Without love we are destroying the beautiful world around us.  We are destroying one another.  We are trapped in our blindness.  We cannot see without love.

Take our blindness away.  We want to love more than anything else in life, but we don’t always know how.  Show us what this all means.  We want to be an authentic expression of love in the world.  Live in us and lead us into this way of love.

Love will heal our world.  Love is the center of all your teachings.  Love is the greatest expression of life in our humanity.  Love is a foreign concept to us many times, sad to say.

Here are 10 ways we can see clearer and become empowered in everyday life.

1. Recover wisdom

We need the mystical imagination to see with a sense of clarity.  Our seeing is so cluttered in life with fragmentation, distraction, disembodiment and default ways of knowing.  We have often times become so focused on things that don’t matter and as a result our seeing has turned to blindness.  We have lost sight of wisdom.  Most of the time we don’t even know what is happening and this goes on unconsciously within us.

2. Become more mindful (loving) and aware (full of grace)

The mystical imagination calls to us from the hills to wake up and run toward something more holistic and life-giving.  The mystical imagination teaches us to see with the eyes of an ordinary mystic.  We become more mindful and aware.  We become more loving and full of grace.

3. Become passionate about faithful presence

We develop more of a longing for the God of mystery.  We become people of wonder and grace.  We become passionate about faithful presence in the place we live.

4. Read our world with a hermeneutic of love

Elaine A. Heath asks the question as she states, “…what would it mean to read our world with a hermeneutic of love?”      

5. Puts us in a posture of listening

Seeing with a sense of clarity puts us into a posture of receiving wisdom and listening.  Seeing with a sense of clarity gives us an imagination for the body of Christ in everyday life in the parish.  As we practice more and more, God slowly reveals to us the mysterious, beautiful ways of deep wisdom.  But these revelations do not come so fast, they come very slow.

6. Discover the relational revelations within us and around us

We cannot force them, but we must live with an openness where we can listen when we discover something of their nature.  This is the purpose of our lives here on earth in the place we live.  We should always be longing to discover the relational revelations within us and around us all of the time.  There is nothing like an intuitive discovery of relational wisdom in the place we care about and inhabit.

7. Value and honor the body

“The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light…” (Mathew 6:22). 

8. Become aware of the beauty in the world around us

Seeing with a sense of clarity is the light to our bodies.  We will have greater clarity if we become aware of the beauty in the world around us.  Beauty, light, body, place, love, humility, grace, practice, simplicity, faithful presence all integrate into creating a sense of clarity within us as we follow Christ together through the mystical imagination.

9. Become expressions of love in the world

The mysterious God is revealed slowly in unpredictable ways through all of this process of cultivating clarity and direction within us.  Our eyes and bodies need to be open to an imaginative light within us.  There is so much potential and clarity that awaits to be discovered if we would only seek to find this wisdom and listen in our confusion.  This is a difficult discipline so we need to allow the mystical imagination to guide us into our discipleship to become expressions of love in the world.

10. Become disciplined in our practice

Henri J.M. Nouwen writes, “Discipleship, however, calls for discipline.  Indeed, discipleship and discipline share the same linguistic root (from discere, which means “to learn from”), and the two should never be separated.  Whereas discipline without discipleship leads to rigid formalism, discipleship without discipline ends in sentimental romanticism…”

Do you think love is more important than theology, creeds and rituals?