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GRACE

THE SECOND GAZE

Do you SEE this

Woman?

“The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How does my self-image demand that I react to this?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads to an implosion of self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended” can we immediately (or at least more quickly) stand with and for the other, and for the moment.” (Richard Rohr in Daily Meditations, 1/1/21)

When I read that, I am reminded of Jesus at Simon’s house. Simon was a Pharisee who had invited Jesus to dinner. When Jesus was at the table, a woman of the street came in and anointed Him and washed His feet. Simon had not offered this common courtesy to Jesus.

“Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” (Lk. 7:44)

DO YOU SEE THIS WOMAN?

Simon saw a sinner and immediately went to judgment about her and Jesus.

Jesus saw a sinner and immediately went with compassion.

All too often I find my identity with Simon rather than with Jesus.

Hypocrisy?

Maybe. But it is not intentional nor practiced. It is the result of decades of believing that pleasing God meant that I must protect my personal sanctity and defend God’s name. That became my default mode.

I am learning a new methodology—that of grace.

Only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully

Father Rohr continues–
“In the second gaze, critical thinking and compassion are finally coming together. It is well worth waiting for, because only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It sees itself, the other, and even God with God’s own eyes, the eyes of compassion, which always move us to act for peace and justice. But it does not reject the necessary clarity of critical thinking, either. Normally, we start with dualistic thinking, and then move toward nondual for an enlightened response. As always, both/and!”

May I learn to not stop with the first gaze, but to take time to really see.

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Daily Word VIDEOS

FORGOTTEN SIN

How do we reconcile Sodom & Gomorrah with God’s love?

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Daily Word

Do You Understand?

Rv 20:11-15
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.    KJV

Once again we are looking at the concept of judgment for our works. Plainly stated, we will be judged for our works, not our good intentions. What we do; not what we intended to do.

This time, however, we are coming from the book of Revelation. I am not ashamed to admit that this book is baffling to me.

Yes, there are many who have written and preached long and eloquently from the contents of this book. There are also many who have endeavored to explain the entire book from beginning to end.

I have read dispensational works, so-called Kingdom writers, and Calvinistic authors. I always come away with the same feeling: not yet. This isn’t it.

Oh, there is always truth to be gained from any of these servants of the Lord. But, a full understanding of all this book contains has not yet come to me.

There can be many reasons for this:

  • I’m thickheaded
  • I don’t believe
  • My heart’s not right
  • It’s not my time
  • God has not revealed it to me

When I err in understanding the Word, it is generally on the side of caution. The pharisees had it all figured out about how the messiah would come–and they missed it. Although Jesus came according to the Scriptures, and we can see it clearly from hindsight, the Jews missed the reality that was before them. They failed to see because they thought they saw (John 9:41). I do not want to be in that crowd.

I want to be like Peter. Peter, uneducated as he was, knew the Scriptures. He knew what was in them, what was written. He probably did not know what they meant in many cases. But he knew what was written. So, when the “day of Pentecost was fully come,” (Acts 2:1) and the signs and wonders began to appear, Peter was able to relate it to what he had heard–“This is that!” (v. 16)

I want to be so familiar with the Word that when something happens, I can say, “This is that.”

If I get my ‘boxes’ all figured out, I will certainly miss out on the reality, because God simply will not be boxed in by our concepts.

That is the lesson I have learned about anticipating God in the fulfillment of prophecy.