Look and see

Look all around you and see what is real
Hear what is true and be sure what you feel
Touch someone near you in love if you can
Give all you have and be part of God’s plan

th-4Look. Hear. Touch. Give. This is a song of action. Each line starts with a verb. It’s about engaging with God, people, and the world around us. I understood very little of what this song was about when I wrote it, nor do I understand that much more about it now. It is a song that keeps reminding me of what I must do that does not come easy for me. It’s not that I have written what I know, but what I must know, and it doesn’t exactly get easier. It takes a conscious effort to stay alive to God, people and the world around us.

Engagement is not automatic. It doesn’t happen because we are breathing. It happens because we take our breath and do something with it. Jesus was constantly talking about how it wasn’t enough to hear the words of truth; we have to do them.

Look. It’s where everything starts. Then it’s look and see. Seeing does something with what we look at.. Our eyes don’t do anything; they are merely open or closed to the world. They take in. Seeing is deeper. It involves the mind. It is about observing and thinking about what we look at. Looking and seeing are the first steps towards involvement.

Looking involves seeing what is real. It’s about not being fooled, and not fooling ourselves about what we see. What is real is not always on the surface of things; real is usually deeper than that.

Jesus is hard to understand sometimes because He is so often talking in opposites, as in the last will be first, we find when we lose, the poor are really being blessed and the hungry are being satisfied. To listen to Jesus is to learn that very little is as it seems. Therefore, what is real is below the surface. If you’re going to look and see what is real, you’re going to have to constantly hear what is true — the word of God.

We need to have our minds working at all times. Not just eyes open, but mind engaged. Look all around you (not just ahead) and see what is real.

Observing and engaging are not automatic. They involve conscious choices, again and again, throughout the day, throughout our lives.

Look and listen, then you will know to touch and give. These verbs are all inter-related.

Jackson Browne has a similar song that delves into the engaging process. I leave the lyrics here for our own edification.

Alive in the World
by Jackson Browne

I want to live in the world, not inside my head
I want to live in the world, I want to stand and be counted
With the hopeful and the willing
With the open and the strong
With the voices in the darkness
Fashioning daylight out of song
And the millions of lovers
Alive in the world

I want to live in the world, not behind some wall
I want to live in the world, where I will hear if another voice should call
To the prisoner inside me
To the captive of my doubt
Who among his fantasies harbors the dream of breaking out
And taking his chances
Alive in the world

To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world

With its beauty and its cruelty
With its heartbreak and its joy
With it constantly giving birth to life and to forces that destroy
And the infinite power of change
Alive in the world

To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world
To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and finally arrive in the world

To “finally arrive” in the world, is our goal. To show up, eyes wide open, seeing what is real, and ready to do what God wants us to do. This is what God wants for those who will turn grace outward to everyone, everywhere.

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4 Responses to Look and see

  1. Frank U says:

    just when i think the Spirit could not possibly speak louder through/ or make me love – you more….

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Like to add an Amen to today’s Catch – it spoke to me… As they often do. 🙂

  3. TimC says:

    I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:17,18
    For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 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.

    Look beyond what you see.

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