“ I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…”
In the time that Paul was writing the book of Ephesians, the heart was considered the cultural center of knowledge and understanding; unlike our culture which places the heart as the center of emotion. Paul likened the heart to the epicenter of where true logic took place.
When we see with just our eyes we mislead ourselves to live in a temporal reality that, at any moment, can be altered and changed. The reality our eyes see is subjective, chaotic, and volatile. Yet, when we see with our heart, we are awakened to a reality that is unchanging, faithful, and diligent. This reality is the realm of the Gospel and the nature of Jesus. When we seek to see with the eyes of our heart, we seek to also see situations as God would see them: full of understanding, grace, and knowledge; you might even consider this as a call to objectivity.
At the same time Paul adds that seeing with our hearts includes seeing the unseen. When we enter a relationship with Christ everything changes. While before Christ all we could see was the subjective reality courtesy of our eyes; after Christ we are given the ability to see with our heart and ultimately live in the revelation of the mercy of Christ and the future and hope we have in living in eternity with our heavenly Father.
I think this is the relevant point for many of us. The temptation lies in seeing with just our eyes because it’s easy and convenient to glimpse through a lense that shows us what we want to see; this view lends itself to our ultimate selfishness, jadedness, and deceit. The day to day becomes all about our emotions and seeing others as we would see them rather than as children of the most high God. We lose understanding and grace for ourselves and others as our emotions take us captive. We lose the capacity for godly knowledge and a holiness that goes beyond our physical understanding.
Friends, this is why Paul calls us as believers to see with our hearts. As we see with our hearts we begin to see ourselves and others with the eyes of God. Understanding of ourselves and others occurs because we begin to release our own selfish values and exchange them for the beautiful sacraments of higher grace and mercy.
Here is the big ask fellow millenials: will we choose to see with our hearts this very day? Will we choose to see ourselves and others with a view of higher grace and mercy regardless of the actions that take place?
Jesus open the eyes of our hearts Lord.
Open the eyes of our hearts. We want to see you
High and lifted up, shining in the light of your glory
Pour out your power and love
as we sing holy, holy, holy.