Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sunglasses and The Sermon

As I began preparing for my daily walk with Copland along the shoreline of the Adriatic I thought about taking my sunglasses. They're the cheap kind, the ones the vendors sell on the street that look like the latest name brand shades everyone's wearing. And even though they'll break if you sniff, they're stylish. The problem is I don't have contacts - a luxury I had back when I bought the glasses, but one we've decided not to renew. So in order to put on my stylin' shades, I'd have to take off my government issued 3rd and 4th eyes.

And I actually thought about doing it. I wouldn't be able to see the sea. The rocks that give the shoreline its uniqueness would be invisible, my path blurred. All told, the sunglasses would be worn solely for the sake of vanity.

But as I was going through the decision-making process it occurred to me that this is the general principle Jesus was getting at in so much of his Sermon on the Mount. It's the difference between being seen and seeing - looking good versus seeing well.

Take Matthew 6:5 for example: "When you give to the needy do not let your left and know what your right hand is doing." (NIV) Apparently there were some who were perverting the act of caring for others (seeing) and using it for the their own purposes (being seen).

And throughout the rest of The Sermon I get the impression Jesus wants us to keep our natural desire to be noticed in check, while increasing our ability to see clearly. What are we to look for?

I'll leave the pleasure of seeking to you.

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