More Than Meets the Eye
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” -2 Corinthians 4:18 MSG
This year my daughter Hallie turned twelve. She was born with underdeveloped optic nerves which caused total blindness. Despite her visual acuity, she has been the one teaching me to see for twelve years now. In attempts for me to try to explain what I mean by this, I wrote twelve things her life has helped me gain a new perspective on.
These twelve things were not always so clear to me though. It’s been a slow and steady learning process. When she was a baby, my mind was full of the unknown and a fear based focus on her lack. But it has been her life and her resilience that has taught me to see more clearly.
The most beautiful thing about this list is that it can remind all of us, no matter our life situation, ability or disability, that we have an endless supply of these 12 realities to take out of our back pocket to create the life we will love to live. No matter the struggle, pain or heartache you’re in, no matter how you are measured, you have an immeasurable supply of these.
Here’s to all of us; may we hold these in our heart.
1. YOU have the ability to find BEAUTY; soul food. Music that lifts you, textures and aromas in a beautiful garden, a hug, a meal someone labored over, poetry, kindness from a stranger, sunlight! There is a world full abundant beauty if we can learn to see it and pay attention.
2. You have an unlimited CREATIVE source within. The mind can dream up and think up wonderful adventures. The heart can explode with possibility and creative solutions.There is no limit to what can be dreamed up, imagined or created from within.
3. You can practice GRATITUDE. In our house we call them “bright spots.” Those moments in your day where you feel caught up in a moment of blessing. If you pause and reflect, you will find these moments. All of a sudden, the most simple of acts become gifts sparking joy. It can be as simple as the brightness in someone’s smile, a feeling of things coming together at just the right time, an unexpected connection with a stranger, that feeling of knowing your pain also holds purpose.
4. You can be CURIOUS. Anyone at any point can get curious. There are endless things to know and learn about people, the world, science, faith, animals, etc! It is not uncommon to find Hallie asking google about stocks and bonds or anything related to science. The world is a wonderful place full of things to discover. Curiosity can be your catalyst.
5. You can choose COURAGE. The power and ability to face something new or difficult is within you. You can choose right now to not limit yourself. Being brave gives you opportunity for adventure. Hallie has the “need for speed” and does not limit herself when it comes to roller coasters, skiing, hang gliding, climbing structures, or tubing down the biggest hills. Courage allows your heart to take flight.
6. You can CELEBRATE the hard work you’ve done. Don’t look at other’s accomplishments while doing this one. Focus on the incredibly strength and resilience you’ve practiced. What is one thing you know you’ve worked hard on? What are YOU proud of you for? I’m pretty sure it’s worth celebrating! We can so easily down play our accomplishments because they are not as “big” as the next guys. What I’ve learned from my daughter is that we don’t have to weigh one accomplishment over the other. The effort is what we are proud of. When my daughter learned to brush her own teeth, it was something to celebrate! Let’s not diminish the sense of accomplishment because someone else’s success looks different than your own.
7. Find HUMOR. No one can take away the humor and amount of puns found in daily conversation. These silly, humorous things are what color the world. Humor shared fills the soul. Look for it. Find it. Share it!
8. You are here for a PURPOSE. Even the smallest of creatures- like rolly pollies or snails have significance, so how could YOUR life not? No matter who you are, what you’ve faced, you are a child of God, you are here for a reason, your life matters. It’s your choice to see this. You can live for something bigger than yourself. You can serve others. There will always be a way to give of yourself, NO matter your abilities. There will always be someone in need of what you have to offer.
9. You can learn EMPATHY. We have so much to learn by walking in someone else's shoes. There are endless perspectives we can learn to understand. Finding empathy for another person grows you from the inside out.
10. You can practice FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness needs no credentials other than being human which likely means you’ll need it. Getting hurt, being let down, and experiencing disappointment and pain is part of all of our stories. Forgiveness is the gift to bring us back and restore what gets broken. Forgiveness is that gift that keeps our hearts soft.
11. You have FRIENDSHIP. Right now, today, practice seeing how connected you are to all of God’s creation. You are connected to others and the earth and your choices impact them. Friendship can look many different ways. So often we put expectations on what kind of friendships we need. Hallie has such a wide range of friendships- young and old, animal friends, many different people with many walks in life, but she is open to seeing this and thus her life is rich in friendship. I want this for my life too.
12. You can give & receive LOVE. Love is a baby's first language and the universal language. It is something the blind can see, and the deaf can hear. How do we keep our hearts tender enough to love others? It will be a cost to us yet oh so worth it. Truly having sight means learning to love the least of these, including yourself. Let’s love with open hands and open hearts.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” - 2 Cor 4:18