Lessons in Seeing

“I can’t find my boots! Where are my BOOTS?”

This was, of course, a crisis because we were dealing with a 15-year-old daughter who absolutely needed her boots RIGHT THEN because at the football game, they were supposed to dress as “cowboys or Indians.” And of course her ride was about to pick her up any minute.

I told her where the boots should be in the basement. She couldn’t find them, of course.

I looked where I thought they should be, on the shelf in the “boiler room” as we call it.

There was a small box there, which I passed over. Surely that couldn’t contain boots, since I knew mine were with hers. That much I remembered.

I ended up clearing out a lot of junk in the basement trying to find those boots. (God’s grace and sense of humor. I did need to clear out all that junk months ago. Guess God knew I needed a little nudge. Averting another teenage crisis was enough incentive to at least do a little.)

I found the boots.

They were in the small box that I’d overlooked. I went back and opened it up after all, because I KNEW I had put those boots on that shelf.

I just didn’t see it at first because . . .

Because I didn’t expect them to be there.

Just so I’d get the point, the very next morning–not 12 hours later–I was about to wash a sweater. I looked at the tag for directions on how to wash the garment. I squinted at it, and finally asked my husband to verify: “Gene, do you see any instructions in English here?”

He did not. We tried to figure out the “universal symbols” (which I never can decipher) and I washed the garment using my best guesses from the Spanish and French and those symbols.

When I took the garment out of the dryer, I noticed another tag that DID have instructions in English.

How had I missed it?

I wasn’t looking for it.

Just as with the boots, I didn’t see what I didn’t expect to see. I assumed there was only ONEĀ  location for a tag with washing instructions. In this case, there was one on the collar and one on the lower seam. You’d think I’d have thought to look, but I didn’t–at first.

I think God was trying to show me something, because the same basic thing happened twice within such a short period of time.

We only see what we expect to see.

And: We don’t see what we don’t expect to see.

What might God be trying to show you–about himself, about yourself, about how you’re viewing a situation or person–that you aren’t seeing because it’s not what you expect to see?

What surprises and delights–what abundant gifts– might you begin to see if you open your eyes and pray, “God, help me to see what you want me to see, and to expect to see marvelous things”?

“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.'” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)

10 Replies to “Lessons in Seeing”

  1. I really enjoy self learning especially when we see in others and not in our selves. Its something when God shows us through situations, and demonstration of our daily lives.

  2. You’re so right, Felicia! I too love when God speaks into our everyday situations. I think he tries to do it more often than we notice….

  3. Heartwarming! Sharing our foibles is so empowering to others isn’t it? God’s gifts ARE far beyond our imagination’s ability to anticipate. So, anticipate the beauty of a sunset, the warmth of the sun on a clear summer day lying on a soft white sand beach, the love beyond that which consumes your heart when you hear the tears of your child! Thanks, Di for reminding us to open ourselves.

  4. Oh, Diane, I loved this. I love it when God used the normal things of life to teach us His thoughts and His ways. I always want to see the unseen! Blessings to you!

  5. And I love what you said: “I always want to see the unseen.” Isn’t that what God invites us to do? The unseen is his kingdom. Through our paying attention to the Spirit’s work, as he sheds light on the unseen, we can see it. He makes visible spiritually what is unseen, if we have the spiritual eyes to see it. And we get that through trusting God and tuning in to the Spirit.

  6. Love it, Diane. You’re so right. We find what we look for, in our lives and in the people around us. I want to be a “good-finder.” I know from experience that guarantees I’ll feel more blessed and more thankful to God.

    The good is there all the time, but I need eyes that see it.

  7. I really enjoy self learning especially when we see in others and not in our selves. Its something when God shows us through situations, and demonstration of our daily lives.

  8. Diane, this is beautiful and well written. I love the way you used your examples to illustrate a point and share a great insight. It reminded me to pray a prayer, I’ve prayed before, “Open my eyes to see the blessings and opportunities you have for me today.”

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