All that is Seen and Unseen
by Rich Maffeo
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." . . . Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to Him, "Master, I want to see" (Mark 46-51).
Yogi Berra, former catcher for the NY Yankees and manager of the Mets, Yankees and Houston Astros, is well known for pithy quips like, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it," and, "It's like déjà vu all over again." My favorite is, "You can see a lot just by looking."
During my teen years, I repeatedly closed my eyes to things I didn't want to see. I remember one evening in particular. As I walked toward my apartment, I noticed an anthill outside my door. Hundreds of ants scurried in and around their mound and a lesson I'd learned in high school biology came to mind. Without tiny creatures like ants, topsoil irrigation couldn't occur. Plant life, as we know it, couldn't exist.
In that moment of reflection, I realized a precise order of life existed all around me. But order requires someone to do the ordering, and I immediately realized where that thought would take me. So I closed my spiritual eyes because I didn't want to go there. I had eyes only for young women, drugs, and parties. I knew God and my lusts couldn't peacefully coexist, so I ignored the anthill. I preferred to keep God in the psychological cubbyhole I'd labeled, "Not Sure Of," where He joined other problematic nuisances like "Absolute Truth" and "Life after Death."
The Psalmist wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft. One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge" (Psalm 19:2-3), and God gives 20/20 spiritual sight to anyone who chooses to see. The Hebrew prophet Elisha is an example.
Ben-hadad, the Syrian king, wanted Elisha's head. His army hunted Elisha across Israel before they found the prophet in Dothan. When Elisha and his servant looked across the horizon, they saw the Syrians massed everywhere against them.
"Alas," his servant called out, "what shall we do?"
Elisha knew what to do. With eyes of faith, he looked beyond the horizon to the tens of thousands of heaven's angels surrounding the Syrians. Though the physical evidence remained unchanged - the ground groaned under the weight of Syria's army - the spiritual evidence of impending deliverance changed fear to an assurance of victory (2 Kings 6).
When we recite, "The Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen," we remind ourselves that, although our physical eyes might perceive His existence, our spiritual eyes perceive His power, love, and protection.
Yes. We can see a lot just by looking.
Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see You. I want to look into Your glory until the things of earth grow dim in the light of Your majesty and grace. Amen.
Next time: One Lord
These meditations are compiled in Richard Maffeo's book, "We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed." The book is available through bookstores and his website
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