Enlightened

7-Bloom_1080

Ascension Sunday / Seventh Sunday of Easter

Week of May 16, 2021
Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23

... with the eyes of your heart enlightened ...
(Ephesians 1:18, NRSV)

Devotion

I was accused of plagiarism in high school after waxing eloquent in a book report on a book I adored at the time (The Great Train Robbery, FYI). There had been no plagiarism; I just loved books and loved words and had let myself get a little fancy in that particular paper. That same teacher announced that I asked too many questions in class, but when pressed, she admitted that they were good questions. Maybe they were inconvenient questions, preventing the smooth presentation of the day's material, but they were thought-provoking and interesting, apparently.

Bless my heart, I am the exact same person today. I cannot even tell you how often I am reading spiritually-related material or sitting quietly in church and encounter a phrase that makes part of me want to stand up and say, but what does it mean? What are we saying here? We are all reciting this thing but do we really know what it means?

It can get a little exhausting inside my head, but it's never boring.

This is how I feel when I read these words in Ephesians 1:17-19: "I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power."

The words are gorgeous and mighty, and the phrase "with the eyes of your heart enlightened" is so deep and amazing and deserves calligraphy, but my student self is raising her hand persistently, intent upon asking, "I love it, but what does it mean?"

What does it mean?

My student self isn't going to get a hold of this one. I can't note-take this phrase into submission and clarity. It requires a more mature self to make any sense of this, and I'd better hold my understanding lightly if I am inviting God's help here, which I am.

A closed bud. That is what my heart is, most of the time. A lot of potential, but safety is primary, so things stay under wraps and precise, mobile.

A budding flower, time-lapsed. That is the process of the eyes of my heart becoming enlightened. Opening, uncurling, stretching, standing. Giving. Receiving. Planted, rooted, stable. Vulnerable to injury, but oh so beautiful, and part of the astounding tapestry ever being woven by our loving Creator.

God bless the student. God bless the teacher. God bless the wonderer. And friends, may the eyes of our hearts be enlightened. Amen and amen.

Prayer

O God, may we be open, may we be teachable, and may we see and be the light. Amen.

Lindy ThompsonLindy Thompson
Lyricist and Poet
Christ United Methodist Church
Franklin, TN 

 

Photo: Stux / Pixabay

 

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