On occasion, I catch the late-night ads for “Miracle Ear” — a hearing enhancement device that sounds (no pun intended) too good to be true. I finally met someone who actually purchased and uses a Miracle Ear, and he is delighted with it. His testimonial is simple, “I am no longer missing what everyone else takes for granted.” What a lovely realization that there is something out there that has the power to improve a person’s day-to-day lived experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our deficiencies were so easily addressed?
It got me thinking — what we need is a Miracle Eye. This would be a device that would grant us the sight and insight of the divine. Think about it for a moment: the ability to see creation through the eye of God. How might our lives change were we able to see the divine fingerprint on all of creation — the good, the bad and the ugly. No longer would we merely focus on the tragedy of a natural disaster, but we would be able to view the larger picture of nature’s awesome regenerative power. In human suffering, we could begin to envision a healthier system that would alleviate pain and generate sustainability. We would see the Christ in every human being on earth. No longer would we be looking for flaws and disqualifications — all we would see is the Christ. No longer would we feebly attempt to exclude individuals and categories of people through our petty labels, but we would finally have to admit that all are children of God, no matter their level of brokenness. We would be forced to stop giving up on people we find offensive or unacceptable. Through Miracle Eye, we would be allowed to see each blessed sinner as God sees. It would truly level the playing field.
For those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, the world becomes a very strange and troubling place. Clarity of vision and deep listening moves us into a new relationship with the world. To see clearly is to see completely, to move from the narrow and provincial to the systemic and global. Now, we see in parts and pieces, we hear bits and snatches — but to have our eyes and ears fully opened? We would connect with the larger relationships and connections. If Christ truly breaks down the dividing walls, what’s left? What would happen to us if all the humanly created artificial divisions between “us” and “them” suddenly disappeared? What if we were faced with a new reality of “all of us?”
I am amazed at the number of people — who identify themselves as Christian — who see such a vision as threatening. Many do not want such a reality to be true. There are simply too many of God’s children they do not want included in God’s community. They seek an exclusive, gated-heaven-community that requires an arbitrary check-list of who “deserves” to be included. The desire is to take the “miracle” out of our sight and hearing; to simply be left with that which makes us feel comfortable, secure, and self-righteous.
Yet, who can spend an evening in scripture and believe that God operates this way? Who can journey the gospels and perceive a Jesus who would go along with such a small and insignificant vision? Who would care to face the wrath of Paul in attempting to defend such an ignominious assertion? Those who desire judgment and condemnation for those they dislike are at odds with every enlightened Christianity throughout the generations. Oh, certainly there have been misguided aberrations and inquisitions along the way, but history helps us outgrow those in each era, until they emerge to test us anew. Yet, they never last for long. We have grown up in our attitudes toward women, children, minority races, other ethnicities, cultures and worldviews. We no longer accept biblical tolerance for domestic abuse and slavery as acceptable. There is evidence that we can grow up, that we can see and hear more clearly than we used to.
Perhaps it is nothing more than a choice. Do we want to see more clearly? Do we want to listen more deeply? Do we really want to understand God’s creation with the mind of Christ? I wonder. The responsibility to love more, to forgive more, to share more, to spread peace and mercy and compassion and kindness, to judge less, to disapprove less, to condemn less — this is exhausting, this is hard. It is so much easier to be blind and deaf and blunder through life with little concern or regard for others, especially those who choose not to like.
But I do believe that the majority of Christ followers do want to be led and guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I actually do believe that the majority want to produce the fruit — love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and generosity and faithfulness and generosity and self-control. I truly do believe that somewhere deep inside most of us want a world of mercy and compassion and forgiveness and grace. God, grant us a Miracle Eye, that we might see what is possible, and stop settling for so much less.