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Ed Jordan: The Gift of Vision

Posted: 5/11/18 at 9:15am. Column by Ed Jordan.

There are some amazing capabilities in the cameras available today. A small camera can have a 30x optical zoom and take amazingly clear pictures. Recently I went to a memorial service for a sibling in California, and the family decided to take a day to go to Catalina Island. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the Pacific waters were clear as crystal.

As I walked along the road above the shore, I saw some large, gold fish swimming near the bottom of the water. The water was only two to three feet deep there, but my eyes saw the gold fish (which we later identified as the California Gold Trout). I zoomed in with my camera and began snapping pictures.

The water was moving, and the gold light reflecting off the fish was being diffused. The resulting photos were fascinating. One was a golden, Z-shaped stripe. Several shots made the body and the eyes look like those of exotic, tropical fish.

Upon reflection, I realized that as fantastic as the camera’s capabilities are, they are still not on par with the human eye. I could see the fish better with the human eye than with the magnification and adjustments produced by a nice camera’s lens.

It is always things like this that bring us back to the reality that God created us with such phenomenal capabilities—like eyes that can see what a camera cannot.

It is always things like this that bring us back to the reality that God created us with such phenomenal capabilities—like eyes that can see what a camera cannot. Such sophisticated capabilities did not just happen.

Think about how much we rely upon our eyes and about the blessings we encounter because of that, coupled with the mind that interprets the information. Eyesight is a miracle. Also, we can see in color, which is not a given among the animal world. Just think about the spectrum of colors we can see and distinguish between.

Not only do we see the details and intricacies of things, we can also see patterns which are made as we evaluate the details. We can see one colorful tile in a wall as well as the entire pattern made from a mosaic of many such tiles. We can see individual trees as well as the structure lines and patterns of the trees in a forest.

Even more amazing is the fact that we can see abstract representations produced by the texture and alignment of the smaller elements or pieces. I can envision a golden Z as well as the reality that there was a fish moving below the moving water.

We have all looked at clouds and seen not just clouds, but also many abstract patterns which look like an elephant, or a wolf, or an angel. Vision is an amazing thing—a wonderful gift from God.

There is one more very important aspect of vision, which involves mental vision of unseen things. We can “see” patterns of events, tendencies, or circumstances which can reveal to us the logical outcome of making certain decisions or following certain paths, or which reveal the nature of a particular person or company. Thus, many people who can see patterns and the outcomes of cause and effect can help us envision what will happen in response to certain actions.

This same vision capability can help us learn more about what God is like. How do we know what God, who is invisible to our eyes, looks like? We can learn of the nature of God from examining the life of Jesus. In John 14:10 (ESV) we read: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” Jesus was saying that if we have seen him, we have also seen the Father. He said that he does what he sees the Father doing, and he spoke what the Father told him to say. So from studying the life, activities, and teachings of Jesus, we gain insight into God the Father.

As you look at the activity of Jesus in your daily life, what patterns stand out as indicating the activities of God in your life? What is God doing in your life, and what does he want to do through your life? Ask God to open your physical and spiritual eyes to his activities in and through your life.

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.