The third Thursday of the month is when a group called the Challenge meets. Everyone in Challenge attended a retreat I helped direct in January that was about finding peace in difficult experiences or turmoil in life. I never dreamed that the 10 participants would find so much meaning in the retreat. Two women experienced real life giving energy from the weekend and have made significant changes in their lives. Amazing what happens when we listen to God and are open to receiving God”s love.
Tonight we had a reflection on ””peripheral vision”” as I call it. This is the vision which embraces more than ourselves. My eye doctor always tells me that I have great peripheral vision. This is the literal definition: I know I can see out the corner of my eyes to look beyond what is in my direct line of sight. I notice it the most when driving and how I see traffic or movement around me.
Jesus had meaningful peripheral vision which allowed him to see beyond himself and his issues to really embrace the other person where they were in life. This enabled Him to respond in compassion, healing and total empathy. Jesus could see beyond His desires to embrace God”s vision for Him. Jesus could see beyond a person”s illness to what their heart needed – and heal them spiritually. Peripheral vision is, for me, the crux of Christian life.
Here is the thing – we need that same peripheral vision to be open to God”s path for us. We need to see further than ourselves to how God might be seeing us. In community life I know I must see beyond MY direct line of sight to how those around me are doing and how I affect them with my words and actions. That is the foundation of living in community.
It is the foundation of not just religious life but living as family, as Church and in any relationship.