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Advent Reflections: Seeing

Dear Kaleid Women:


At Kaleid over the last month, we’ve talked about seeing. Seeing ourselves. Seeing others. Seeing our city – our context – more fully. It’s been good. But if you dug in to any of those places, maybe you’ve been a little uncertain, too.


There is a lot in scripture about seeing and being seen. There’s even a lot about the uncertainty that seeing in new ways can generate in human souls.


In fact, the coming Advent season helps to remind us of God’s commitment to see us just as he saw Hagar in the wilderness – to be El Roi, the God who sees, to us in our places of human vulnerability. Jesus’ birth was a divine choice that put human eyes on God understanding. That’s remarkable. And vulnerable. It inspires faith and it inspires questions about new paths forward.  


When people in the Bible saw in new ways, sometimes they asked hard, complex, vulnerable questions:

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (A Rich Young Ruler)

“How many times do I need to forgive?” (Peter)

“How can someone be born when they are old?” (Nicodemus)


The disciples walked with Jesus for a long time. They saw Him even as they were being seen by Him. One day, (on the heels of the forgive seventy times seven conversation, and likely grappling with the inadequacy that their better sight provoked) they asked him for more faith. Jesus’ reply is interesting, and maybe even a bit oblique. He said, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6, CEB)


Is it possible that Jesus was calming them in that moment rather than provoking them? Is it possible that He was speaking directly to their inadequate feelings that came from their new sight? Could He have been saying something like, “You have faith. And guess what? You don’t need faith any bigger than a kernel of a spice that gets easily discarded. You are adequate in your faith…just lean into the tiny portion you already have and put it into action, friends. What you already have is enough.”


As we approach Advent, let us consider the gift of sight.


The gift of being seen. Of seeing. And the gift of uncertainty that new sight can provoke.


Jesus, the God-Man, sees and knows. He came to invite us into the tension of the hard questions and to offer us the blessing that our fragile faith is enough. Seeing – whether it’s seeing ourselves, others, or our communities - is not about more certainty. It’s about more faith.


Blessings, today, friends. As you see, may you remember that the faith you have right now is enough.


P.S. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our February 2nd event with Sharol Hayner, who will help us to see how the variety of spiritual practices embedded in different Christian traditions can strengthen our own walk and can strengthen our communities of faith.

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