Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today’s text

Luke 17:12-19

12As [Jesus] entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Teach me to see, Holy One; then I shall be free. Then my heart shall soar, for all I see shall sing the praise of you who staggers my imagination and moves me to tears in the morning hours … and beyond.

Teach me to see with compassion; give that God’s-eye vision that it is penetrating mercy.

You looked and saw 10 lepers. You saw their need. They were not flawed human beings, their skin, peeling, ugly, sickly white. You were not repelled. You saw their isolation from the rest of society, from family and friends, from long evenings when human souls lay down the weight of their lives and laugh over wine and food, reveling in the company of those among whom they are at home.

They were at home no where, and nowhere were they welcome. Children ran from them at the edge of towns they could not enter. Unclean, unclean, the cry would go out, and human faces fled their sight.

Alone, they were. Alone, always alone, the craving for human nearness echoed in their hearts, taunting their souls. They ached for companionship they knew they could never have, the gentle hand of a mother upon their cheek, the kiss of a lover in night, the playful hug of four-year-olds around their neck. Never theirs.

This is what you saw, Jesus. You saw them they way the Holy Father sees them, not the way they saw themselves. You saw their need. You saw their impossible hope for healing, for the holy human communion that love is. You saw all their hopes, all their sad longing for what their lives could never be.

You saw, and that’s the message. You see … me, all of me: my hopes and fears, needs and yearning, laughter and tears, the unending, incessant craving to live with fullness, to exhaust the possibilities of living and loving in this world so that my soul may find the utter contentment of tasting the life of heaven, where in loving my soul is one with the One who is Love and nothing but.

You see, Jesus, and in your seeing I know how I am seen by the One whom no eye has ever seen.

You eyes are upon me, and I feel the Love Who sees me, and heaven comes, here and now with the contentment of knowing, just knowing the Love I was created to know, that every human soul was created to know.

And I see. I see like the one healed leper. I see that I am healed, or at least that healing is well underway.

I see that healing comes in knowing, feeling the Love who made me and all that is, the Love who sees me, the Love who wants my soul to know joy.

I look and see. I see the late autumn trees, sparse, dull brown leaves clinging fast to branches against cooling winds that hint the snows soon to fly. I see, and I know they stand in the soil of the Source of all Being. I see that all that is grows from the Impenetrable Love who loves life and whose one business is life, making, nurturing, growing and bringing it to flower.

I see that everything that is expresses its Source, the Love who sees, and I know all is well and will be.

I see and my seeing praises You, Holy One. I see and I thank everyone who ever taught me to see, and everyone in whom I ever saw the One who sees me. You.

I see, and I know my brother is the one leper who saw you, Jesus, and returned to fall at your feet in thankful wonder for a Love that sees.

I see, and I know I am in the best possible company, those who see the One who sees.

Pr. David L. Miller