“Pray for the grace to see yourself, your circumstances, as God sees them.”
My spiritual director in New Orleans, with whom I worked during my discernment, made this recommendation to me, and I have never forgotten it. This is a powerful prayer. To ask to have God’s perspective is to risk being changed by it. When we see things as God sees them and understand things as God understands them, our lives can never be the same again.
I need spiritual glasses to help me stay in focus during my life’s journey, as much as I need glasses for my body’s eyes. I am called to seek God and God’s vision so as to be able to look with forgiveness on others or on my own past and whatever heartaches, regrets, or mistakes it contains. Seeing as God sees in the present moment allows me to be compassionate and patient when that moment demands more than I see in myself. Trusting that God is answering this prayer in me means I can move toward to an unclear but certain “future full of hope” (Jer. 29:11) with confident faith and joy in God.
Little things keep me in focus. Taking a photo that was blurry reminded me that I do not always see things as they are, and not to be so certain in my own knowledge and perspective when I encounter someone whose outlook is different. Seeing a pink clover flower up close taught me to look for beauty in people or circumstances I might otherwise take for granted, not notice or avoid.
Watching tendrils of smoke from a just-snuffed candle disappear even though I can still smell the smoke beckons me to put my trust in a guiding Presence that takes up where my senses and rational understanding leave off.
What a remarkable moment it is, when the eyes of our hearts open to the mysterious beauty God has placed inside each of us, that is revealed in every life-moment. What a wondrous moment it will be when finally we behold…
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(1 Cor. 2:9).
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.
View all of Sister Ann Marie’s blogs.