Seeing And Believing

Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”
Matthew 21: 14-16

This part of the Palm Sunday story has always filled me with joy. I love the idea that little children are the paragons of praise. Where the chief priests and scribes saw a threat, the children saw salvation. While Jesus healed the blind, the chief priests and scribes clung to their spiritual blindness and dismissed His power. But the children believed. They saw His wonders and didn’t doubt Him. In this way, children are also paragons of belief. Their willingness to be led—the very definition of innocence—is what makes children so profoundly special. 

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many favorite children’s games revolve around sight. “Peek-a-boo” is a classic example. Young children simply delight in covering their eyes, pretending that they can’t see or be seen, and then, magically, they appear again as soon as they take their hands away. “I Spy” is another game that comes to mind. What a simple, but effective way to reinforce a young child’s awareness of the colors and shapes of the world around them. These types of games encourage the players to watch and notice—to embrace what’s right in front of us and to rejoice in the fact that it’s there and that we’ve found it.

As we grow up, I think we become increasingly frustrated with what we can’t see. We might still be enchanted by an especially clever magic show, but we also know that we’re being tricked and a part of us often wants to figure out how the magician pulled it off. We plan a wedding and wish we could know for sure whether or not it was going to rain that day. We raise children and wonder if we’ve done enough to set them on a path to a good and useful life. We see a world riddled with selfishness and suffering and wish we could see the point of it all. But only the Lord sees the mercy of His perfect providence carrying us all along to the best possible outcome. And really, what a relief that it’s not our job to see through all the muck. The Lord knows what lies beyond. That’s enough. 

A few days ago, we experienced a total solar eclipse. Talk about an enduring fascination with being able to see or not see something. Is there any more epic example than the seeming blotting out of the sun itself? Sure, our earthly sun is dollar store flashlight compared to the Lord radiating pure love and wisdom in heaven, but it’s still a powerful thing to see our natural heat and light source disappear for a time. It’s also a little unsettling. How can we witness an eclipse and not consider how devastating it would be if the sun really did get covered up for good. And maybe that’s why solar eclipses are part of the Lord’s plan. Maybe it’s good for us to play a grown-up version of “peek-a-boo” with the reality that we are completely and utterly dependent on His tender loving mercy. He sees us, always. And if we keep seeking Him and rejoicing in what we find, then we too will be paragons of praise. 

And here on earth we praise what God has done
Every church proclaims the only one
Ants and elephants have lives to run
And all the plants are pointing at the sun
-Cheryl Wheeler “Pointing at the Sun”

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound 
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see.

Is it not yet a very little while
Till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord,
And the poor among men shall rejoice
In the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29: 17-19

About Justine Buss

Justine Buss and her family are currently based in Pittsburgh. She was born and raised in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania and studied theatre and English at Muhlenberg College. She spent her professional career working with young people in theatre and is now a full time stay at home mom and pastor’s wife. She stays in touch with her theatre roots by directing Christmas and New Church Day pageants, helping with school plays, and taking an improv class. She also enjoys singing, creative writing (including the occasional murder mystery party game), bargain hunting, and going on adventures with her family. She is grateful for the expressive outlet that New Christian Woman provides. It's so good to take the time to reflect on and write about the things that are on our minds and hearts.

6 thoughts on “Seeing And Believing

  1. What a beautiful thought about the impact of seeing, truly seeing, on our lives because if we truly see, we see the Lord everywhere! As I read and thought about this, one of my husband’s favorite quotes came to my mind.

    “Thought from the eye closes the understanding, but thought from the understanding opens the eye.” Divine Love and Wisdom 46

    I am pondering how that surely applies to the chief priests and scribes and wondering just how it applies to the children. Any thoughts about that?

    1. What a perfect quote!

      I think that children are so eager to understand things that it means their spiritual eyes might be opened especially wide at times. At least, I sure like to think of it that way.

  2. Beautiful, Justine! I love your analogy of the eclipse as an adult form of ‘peek-a-boo’ illustrating our dependence on the Lord’s unfailing love.

    1. Thank you for reading! As ever, this article was a message I needed at the time it was written, so I owe it all to the Lord.

  3. I love these quotes and lyrics you’ve knitted together to carry your message about sight and real seeing!

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