What is it to see? For those of us born with the gift of physical sight the temptation is great to take that extraordinary gift for granted. We see everything around us and by habit often see nothing that matters and nothing of meaning. By our apathy and lack of attention, we are effectively blind by default.
There are more than 1000 uses of the word ‘see’ in Scripture, and nearly 500 for the word ‘look.’ When the word ‘look’ is used a command or as an act, it is with the meaning to ‘apprehend’ and often to assess judgement. To see is to perceive and understand significance and true meaning. Both words require the use of more than our eyes. Both require engagement with the Spirit to see as we are made to see. Yet in faith and obedience we can ask for the gift of seeing rightly and we can in obedience practice seeing till we get better at it.
We exercise the holy gift of looking – bringing observation to bear with our faculty to reason and assess – when we “see” and acknowledge the identity and purpose of another. To cultivate the capacity of seeing is to apprehend the invisible present everywhere with the visible.