God has given us a variety of senses. Last week, we listened for silence in and around our lives. This week, we'll use the gift of sight to pray. Vision is a gift that is often taken for granted. For those of us with healthy vision (well, at least with our glasses or contacts) our eyes can also be a distraction. You know this as you choose to keep your eyes on the road when driving - they roam easily and we all know that's not a safe environment for eyes to wander. Our eyes are active! That's one reason I often close my eyes when practicing yoga or seeking stillness, it lessens the distractions around me. Did you know that out of all the muscles in our bodies, the muscles that control our eyes are the most active?
Take advantage of closing your eyes to seek stillness whenever it seems right. But, this week, let's also put the gift of those eye muscles to use! You'll find Luke 7:1-10 in our scripture reflection list. A simple search on this passage allowed me to stumble on the artwork of Paolo Veronese. And, I had to start a board for "Art & Scripture" on Pinterest to save this link and return later for reflection.
Select an image or use the example above. Consider the image before and/or after you read the scripture. What does the artist capture with color and emotion? How does the image make you feel when you gaze upon it? What do you notice with your eyes that you may have missed in reading the scripture. Does viewing this art deepen your appreciation for the passage? How so?
Maybe your gifts aren't quite the same as Paolo's (maybe they are, and if so I would love to see your art!). No matter your gifts, I believe those of us with the gift of sight (did you know that approximately 285 million people in our world today have a visual impairment?), can use our eyes to see and notice God around us each day!
What if...we not only gaze at someone else's interpretation but also used the gift of the eyes to capture our own prayers this week?
Consider selecting a verse of scripture to take out in to the world and capture what may speak to you as you ponder the verse with your phone's camera. What does the scripture evoke in you and where do you see that come to life around you? What do you notice that connects back to a passage you've read - on that has meaning and purpose to you?
Once your image is captured, consider how it speaks God's word back to you? What do you notice in your image that you may not have noticed before you captured the photo?
My friend, Kasey Hitt, wrote an article recently on praying with a camera at the Guideposts Blog. Whether you capture or create your own images, allow her post to spark ideas for you as you pray with your eyes.
Detailed art, professional photographs or casual snapshots, allow God to use the gift of your eyes. Open your eyes to see God's activity all around you. Where will you find God? How will God speak to you?
If you've stumbled here for the first time, welcome! On Mondays through this Fall, I'm posting a list of scriptures for reflection as well as a different way to pray each week. Pray one scripture or pray them all, this is simply an invitation to journey deeper as we explore God's peace together. Click here to find out more and join us on the journey.
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC