It’s customary to speak of the ‘veil’ that keeps us from seeing what’s really in front of our eyes all along–like how the disciples hadn’t really seen Jesus for Who He was until the clouds parted, for an instant. But that image makes it sound like we’re being duped, tricked, ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.’ Maybe it would be better to speak of cataracts. They’re a flaw in the very nature of the eye’s lens, clouding the vision so that you don’t see accurately. It’s not that you’re getting fooled by life so much as seeing things wrong because you’re fooling yourself.
Some of the great wonders lie in front our eyes, and we don’t see them. Because we’re not looking, because we’re blinded by our day-to-day preoccupations, because we’re too busy or too cynical, because sin and sorrow and reckless ambitious keep us focused on the wrong thing until our spiritual eyes lose the ability to refocus on something closer, more intimate, more important. The sip of port and nibble of cracker on Sunday–it’s way more than a bare memorial meal, it’s Christ’s real presence really present with you.
Or the person you comfortably ignore while typing your morning devotional: she’s not just a wife, she’s bone-of-my-bone flesh-of-my-flesh, half of a complete mystery signifying the love of God for the Church, a fount of endless discovery if only I could see beyond my mundane. The world is full of wonder love and praise, and all I see most of the time is mortgage chore and appointment. Because my eyes are dulled, not because the world’s pulling the wool over them: my eyes are dulled because I’ve focused too long and too hard on things too little rather than lift them to what’s right in front my face all along.
God tells Abraham to look up and count the stars. Paul tells us “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Go looking to stretch your sight, and you will. Go looking to see more of the same…and you will as well.