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Open My Eyes

In “The Book of Awakening,” author Mark Nepo writes about a beautiful, bright drive to visit his 94-year-old grandmother. After catching up, his grandmother comments, “It sure is a dreary day.” Nepo peers out the window of his grandmother’s nursing home room and realizes the window hasn’t been washed in over a year. Sharing this discovery with his grandmother, she responds, “Got a dirty eye, see a dirty world.”

“Before fixing what
you’re looking at,
check what you’re
looking through.”

Mark Nepo

The lens through which we view the world can be altered by our mindset, self-talk, and prejudices. I wonder how often my viewpoints have been clouded by half-truths; how often I’ve stopped myself from branching out because the path was unclear.

As a new year begins, take this opportunity to stop and notice what is before you. Take stock of your habits, relationships, and your living and working environment. Do you see health, growth, and peace on the horizon? Does your life align with your personal values and embrace your gifts? By slowing down and looking at the world with fresh eyes, we can more clearly see a path forward that allows us to live more fully into who God has created us to be.

So You Can Be Well

Try one or more of the following to help you see things through a new lens:

  • Take a new route home. Notice the parks, traffic, buildings, landscape, and people on your route.
  • Go on a familiar walk. Look for things you’ve passed by numerous times and never noticed.
  • Seek to understand the “why” behind a well held tradition, belief, or habit. Consider how it fits into your value system today.
  • Pray the action prayer, “A Prayer for Openness,” by Joyce Rupp:
    • Touch your fingertips to your forehead, saying: Open my mind to remember your presence.
    • Touch your fingertips to your mouth, saying: Open my mouth to speak your wisdom.
    • Touch your fingertips to your heart, saying: Open my heart to extend your love.
    • Hold both hands out, open, palms up, saying: Open my hands to serve you generously.
    • Holding arms wide open, saying: Open my whole being to you.
    • Make a deep bow to the loving presence in you.
  • Read the story of Saul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-31. Consider what scales need to fall from your eyes to see God’s desire in your life.

Pause, clean your smudged glasses. Respond in faith as you see anew. Trust God’s vision, direction, and desire, remembering we don’t walk alone!

Deacon Tammy L. Devine

Tammy shares her passion for health, healing, and wholeness through consulting, coaching, and retreat facilitation. As an ELCA deacon, registered nurse, parish nurse/coordinator, and ICF certified coach, she collaborates with thought leaders to facilitate personal and communal growth toward living and leading well. Contact her to learn more.

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