Years ago, I came upon a quirky piece of art. At first glance, it looked like a picture made up of thousands of shards of colored pieces. Colorful, but where was the artistry? (Clearly, I’m not a fan of modern art. I like an apple to look like an apple.) The more I stared at the thing, my eyes kind of unfocused, as I surrendered the possibility of discerning anything realistic.
Suddenly, I saw a boat in the picture. Clear as day, like how-could-I-have-missed -it clear. Blinked, and it was gone. The person I was with likewise eventually saw the same boat, a gossamer reality, there only for the moment and gone in a blink.
In the Bible, we read we “walk by faith and not by sight.”
That makes me think of the picture with the hidden boat. When we walk by sight, we use our sense of vision to see where we are placing our feet and where we are going. We avoid pitfalls and measure how close we are to our goal. We focus mentally and physically, making decisions every second. “Step on a crack and break your mother’s back.” (Okay, for you younger readers, that was an old limerick that made the usual nonsense that limericks do). Since I am a klutz, I’m too focused on my treacherous feet than on the world around me, so I miss a lot.
When we walk by faith, we release decisions about each step, and trust that automatically our feet will do what they should to keep us upright and moving forward. I can enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds around me. In a way, I release my concentration to a higher faculty in my brain.
Eyes of Faith
My dear friends often ask me how I am doing since my husband passed away. That he is out of pain and reveling in God’s presence comforts me, and I tell them about the miracles surrounding his death. From the practical—the life insurance company that realized one month before he died, and after 54 years, that his previous beneficiary was dead, and he needed a new one. Then there was the comforting book Life is Messy by Matthew Kelly, which suddenly arrived unbidden by mail. The author included a note which read that he occasionally sends this book to people he doesn’t know, and if I find it helpful, I could order a dozen free. I do not know how my name came to his mind, but I’m sure God was behind it. It’s that walk by faith thing.
A few days before Christmas, I did the final edit of a devotional which I sent to www.christiandevotions.us. Within a few days, they responded they would publish it on May 26. That is Gene’s birthday. I took that to mean he arrived, time stamped, in heaven. What joy that gave me!
When I tell friends who do not espouse “religion” about these hugs from heaven, they smile with pity and do not disagree. Let the poor thing cling to her comfort. When I share these events with fellow Christ followers, they clearly see God’s hand in every event.
In other words, they see the boat. I believe when we surrender to God, we see more clearly His movement in our lives and wonder in amazement why and how the Creator of the Universe cares so intimately for each of us. Yet he does, because we all see the same boat… when we walk by faith and not by sight.
The boat is real. And so is God.