I have a friend from my youth, Jacqui, who is an excellent photographer…I mean FANTASTIC! Her photos often inspire me, move me, and leave me speechless in their artistry and beauty. Her pictures need no commentary—they are brilliant in their creativity alone.
But Jacqui recently shared a meme on social media that included two of her photos—the two shown here—with an accompanying caption for each photo. And Jacqui’s message is an excellent and much-needed reminder of something I talk about often: the need for better vision…and more specifically, the kind of vision that can see the sacred intertwined within the ordinary.
As Jacqui explained in her post, the location of these photos is an ugly, wasted, vacant lot that is scheduled to be developed soon. There’s nothing of obvious value about this place. There’s nothing overtly beautiful to be found there. And yet she found it. Jacqui was able to see what most of us would miss. She noticed beauty in what would normally go unnoticed. She had eyes to see the sacred in the mundane.
And this skill of sacred seeing is the same thing we are invited into as followers of Jesus. We are invited to notice the beauty and goodness of God all around us. We are tasked with seeing the ways in which the light of God so subtly breaks through the darkness of our world. We are called to witness the sacredness of God’s presence in the ordinary places of God’s creation. And, most of all, we are invited to see our friends, enemies, and neighbors with fresh vision—through the eyes of God—and to offer them the same love and grace that God does.
So, I offer thanks to my friend for reminding me of the need to see differently. May we all be encouraged, invited, and challenged to better vision—to see the world through the lens of God’s kingdom. May we all be able to pick out the sometimes-subtle, yet incredibly-profound presence of God all around us. And may we have eyes to see the ways in which the normally ordinary places of our existence are actually teeming with sacredness. May we learn the art of sacred seeing.