The gift of sight

Jesus-heals-blind-man

In the middle of a numbness so shocking and deep, I was blessed with a measure of grace for a few days but I soon found that peace alluded me as I muddled on with life and holidays and vacations.  It is so hard to seek heaven and hear silence.  Left to my own devices,  I could glimpse moments of preparation, mostly in the form of my connections with other people.  As I continued to grasp at any strands of heaven that came my way, I was offered the opportunity to weave together a new understanding of God and to seek Him where He is instead of where I wanted Him to be.  From a broad perspective, this endeavor has turned out to be one of the more enlightening journeys that I have found myself on.  But as is so often the case, the enlightenment has been accompanied by soul-searching and a depth of awareness that is sometimes staggering.

Many times throughout His ministry, the Savior offered His listeners the opportunity to find the things they were seeking.  I think we live in a time when it is increasingly easy to find ideas, information, opinions, such that one can cultivate community around any ideas he or she wants to.  I think one of the pathways to spiritual growth is the belief that one can be a lifelong seeker of God, continually piecing together an understanding of heaven during whatever experiences one finds oneself in until the day that soul and heaven are eventually reacquainted in full and we have the opportunity to see Him as He is.  With a bit more life experience, I have a better understanding of how much effort it takes to make this reconciliation sometimes, to seek out and believe in goodness, love and mercy in the face of devastation, to courageously grow and live when there are so many reasons to fear.  With the effort has come the realization that each unique journey offers surprising beauty.  Here’s to bravely seeking to see.

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Puzzling

A religious leader who I love to listen to, by the name of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, once described coming to know Jesus Christ as a process similar to piecing together a puzzle.    He went on to describe the startling beauty of the moment when you have enough of the miniscule pieces in place that you can begin to see the image take shape.   I am still placing pieces for the likeness I’m creating over here but what do you think about the way these fit together?

I believe I lived with God before I was born and because God is love (1 John 4:8), I believe my soul knows what it feels like to bask in pure and gracious love.

I believe that God’s work is to give us the opportunity to choose to be like Him and He hopes to help us return to live with Him and thus have life eternally. (Moses 1:39)

In His intercessory prayer, the Savior says this: “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3)

I believe that knowing Him is eternal life and that earth’s physical and spiritual distance coupled with my inability to remember Him, enables me to work toward an understanding and knowledge of His characteristics that would be impossible to sort out while in His commanding presence.

I believe John’s words that “we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”  He says we can know that we know Him.   (1 John 2:3)

I don’t think we’re talking about just knowing what He expects of us.  I believe the goal of keeping the commandments is to know Him as a Personality, to understand how He feels about us, what principles guide His interactions and His creativity, and what His priorities are.  It’s the difference between knowing Him as a casual acquiantance or a treasured friend.  I believe that’s what the Savior meant when He talked about knowing Them.

And again, I have found Him most frequently as Love.

John also says, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.” (1 John 2:5)

I believe that to know Deity is to know and understand the pure love that the Father and Son exist in and offer us.   I believe that the definition of working toward Him is becoming more like Him and because the primary facet of His personality is love, my focus is on understanding and feeling the love that He has for me and those around me.

I believe that as I participate in this process of obeying Him and thus knowing Him, I can experience His all-consuming love which my soul desperately misses and by definition, I can know eternal life here. Now.