“Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me,
Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear,
And while the wave notes fall on my ear, everything else shall disappear.
Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere,
Open my heart and let me prepare love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready my God thy will to see,
Open my eyes illumine me,
Spirit divine!” [Voices United, 371]
This old hymn was written by American composer/hymnwriter Clara Scott (1841-1897). Clara taught music at The Ladies’ Seminary in Lyons, Iowa. She was the first woman to published the a volume of anthems, the Royal Anthem Book, in 1882. In 1895 she composed her well know hymn, Open My Eyes, That I May See. Clara was inspired by the words of Psalm 119, verse 18:
“Open my eyes, so I may behold wonderous things out of your law.”
This week I am having my second cataract surgery. The first new lens gave me clear vision in one eye with a new to me cool/blue vision, while the second eye still saw with a blurry warm/yellow vision. Until I had the first new lens, I didn’t know I saw the world through warm/yellow vision. It was just the way I saw. I have since learned (from my scientist son) that the cooler blue vision is the more accurate way to see.
Looking out of two different lenses for the past few months has reminded me that we each of us sees colour and the world a little differently depending upon what lens we are looking through. I am also reminded that it’s hard to pull ourselves back from our own vision enough to reflect on how or why we see as we do. An awaking through life experience helps. Through prayer we can ask for Jesus’s help, to open our eyes through the lens of grace, to see through Jesus’ eyes – not our own .
Have you ever had your eyes suddenly opened to see what was always there, but you'd never observed? A bit like Mary not realising that the man she saw as a gardener was actually her Messiah. I think sometimes we need a wakeup call to understand the wonder in what is right in front of our eyes! Like Clara Scott, reading the scriptures and inspired to composing a hymn sung on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean by generations following.
Some questions that came to me and I share with you are: How have your eyes been open to see glimpses of God’s truth? Pray for grace to set you free, to let you see with God’s lens. How have your ears been opened to hear God’s voices of truth? Remember to set aside time for prayer to listen. How have you spoken the warm truth of mercy, reconciliation, and love? Remember to love all God’s creation with an open heart.
I share another prayer by Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace:
nurture me in newness;
set me free from the tyrannies
shake from me the dust melancholy
of too much success and comfort,
pride and pretense,
that, as if on the first day of creation,
I may begin to see
the miracle of life and humanity:
the hum of grace
unfolding to meet all my needs,
unexpectedly and surprisingly,
and urging me to go on in faith
to whatever is next in love. Amen