Sunday, March 01, 2009
Felix Ortiz says that younger generations “listen with their eyes and think with their hearts.” As I come to grip with my own visual preference, I’ve become aware that my eyes give me more autonomy than my ears. A friend of ours is doing a project called “a month of listening” in which he interviews a different person each day of the month. As I’ve listened to the interviews. I’ve realized that when we really listen to someone, we relinquish control and let them take us where they want to go. I can look at what I want from the perspective I chose, whereas I often don’t have a choice about what comes in through my ears, whether it’s elevator, the traffic, and the downstairs neighbor boy who call out insistently “Abuela, Abuela, Abuela.”
Eyes and ears are complementary but not interchangeable. Linguistically and semantically, seeing is connected with understanding; hearing with obedience. In the Bible we see that a vision of God is not an end in itself but serves to prepare someone for what God has to say to them, for example, Isaiah 6 relates how Isaiah didn’t only see God, but heard Him ask, Whom shall I send? to which Isaiah responded, Here I am. Send me and Saul’s vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus lead him to ask, What shall I do, Lord? to which Jesus replied, Get up…and go…you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.
I hope this exercise in weak vision helps strengthen my ability to hear and maybe even obeying.
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