In the book of Romans, Paul tells us that “God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen.” Another translation tells us “the basic reality of God is plain enough,” we must simply open our eyes to see it.
But how do we see the invisible amidst the visible? How do we live with open eyes? How do we see divinity in the ordinary and eternity in the temporal? Perhaps we must start by embracing this paradox: that God’s reality exists not apart from this life, but within it. God’s order operates within the chaos, his redemption within the irredeemable, his holiness within the profane. Open your eyes, Paul tells us, Heaven is at hand, Glory is here— see the invisible within the visible.
And see we must—for how we see determines what we see—and what we see becomes reality itself. When our eyes are open, we recognize that the world is redeemed, creation is holy, and love is the victor. Therefore the spectrum of my vision and the posture of my heart is of the utmost importance, for my openness establishes the promise of heaven as an actual reality in me.
However, this promise is rarely fulfilled, for we find ourselves mired in the tangible. We swim in the marshes of busyness and boredom, small talk and scandals, obligations and appointments. But Paul reminds us there is an eternal and sacred reality amidst this mundaneness, if we would only have the eyes to see it.
So what will it look like to have open eyes tomorrow? When I awake, I will see how life returns with the first faint glimpses of dawn through my window. Rain will probably be falling, and I’ll witness how the earth rejuvenates herself once again. My husband will leave for work and I won’t even be able to see him because my glasses will still be somewhere out of reach on the floor, but I’ll feel his hands on my shoulders and his lips brush my cheeks as he says good-bye. Kids will probably be crawling all over me before the alarm rings, and I’ll smell their morning breath and touch their smooth skin and listen to their giggles or groans. My mom will come over and smile and hug them and I will leave for work knowing they will be fiercely loved and fiercely protected until I return. Throughout the day, I will look into the eyes of countless co-workers, and in the midst of duties and small talk, I’ll remember that they are deeply loved and thoughtfully created. I will encounter hundreds of people who will simultaneously be offering forgiveness, extending kindness, and displaying responsibility that will largely go unnoticed.
But I will notice, because my eyes will be open.
Tomorrow you will breathe. You will use your five senses to experience the world. You will encounter other people. And the way you look at things will determine what you see, and your world will either be painfully insignificant or beautifully holy.
God we are open. Let us live in the reality of the eternal, the sacred, and the divine. Let us bring the invisible to the visible and thereby make all the earth holy.