Learning How to See

Already nearly two weeks into 2022, life feels like it’s racing forward into more of the chaos that we’ve become accustomed to in the past two years. Just when we thought we were nearing the end of shutdowns, shortages, and viral “tsunamis,” here we are again rocked by the waves of disruption, inviting the question once more: how shall we be in this time of unpredictability?

We’ve been through a great deal since the spring of 2020, learning along the way about who we are, how we are, and what we need to thrive. Perhaps we have learned something of the essential value of community, how we need one another, and thrive when we feel connected. Maybe we’ve come to question the meaning of our work, realizing we can no longer contribute to systems that ask us to compromise our integrity or waste our time in the endless pursuit of profit. Perhaps we’ve learned that slowing down grants peace, time for deep reflection, and a greater balance of being.

This past weekend I hosted an online event with author and historian Diana Butler Bass where we talked about the season of Epiphany as a time of seeing more deeply. Epiphany is a time of illumination and enlightenment where the world we thought we knew is pierced by new wisdom and revelation. Those things that we took for granted and that were common suddenly become something else, a threshold for awakening. Something as common as water in the baptism story of Jesus becomes a symbol of God’s covenant. A Jewish man reading in the synagogue becomes the revelation of the Christ. Fishermen who cast their nets as they have hundreds of times before suddenly catch more fish than they can haul into their boats. 

Epiphany is a journey that requires intuition to sense the inbreaking of the Spirit who whispers, “Come, follow me,” even as the world says, “stay with what you know.” We have come too far and learned too much to pretend that we have not changed. We see differently now – ourselves, each other, our world. We see where we are broken, where we are lost, and where we can heal. 

As we stand at a threshold of transformation, let’s expect with hope. Let’s look for connection. Let’s give and receive love. It’s the common things, those we take for granted, that God uses to illuminate our awakening. 

We are in this together,


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