by Ken Rolheiser
Beauty is in the eye of the lover

As a woman boards the bus with her baby the driver says, "That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen."
She slams her fare into the box and takes her seat.
A man asks her asks her what’s wrong. "The driver insulted me," she fumed.
The man said, "He shouldn't say things to insult passengers."
"You're right," she said. "I'll go back up there and give him a piece of my mind."
"That's a good idea," the man said. "Here, let me hold your monkey."

We know that God creates us as his beautiful creatures. But often after looking into the mirror, we feel we need to qualify that and we distrust our own beauty. We look at couples in love and ask ourselves, “What can they possibly see in each other?”

Think of the most beautiful man and woman in the world. Likely they are in Hollywood, in the media, or if we are really in love, much closer to home. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the lover.

Mark 8:22-26 relates the story of Jesus and the blind man he cured. Jesus does not just cure him He takes him aside and spends some time alone with him. Then Jesus prays with him, applies saliva to his eyes and asks him, “Can you see anything?”

“I see people; they look like trees to me.” Jesus prays with him again and anoints his eyes a second time. This time the sight is completely restored.

To me it is a mystery how God can love us all individually. God wants to spend time with us in prayer. Whatever our illness or sin, it may take more than one encounter to effect a cure. Take the time to pray with Jesus, especially if the hurt is deep or the hold of sin strong. It takes time to let go of what afflicts us.

With us it may not be a one time cure. But if we stay in that relationship with Jesus we will prevail and we will have our spiritual sight restored completely. It more than likely is a life-long process. That’s why the church encourages us to worship weekly and to set time aside to pray daily, listening to the voice of God in the scriptures.

I can picture us at the end of life, alone with God who loves us and still wants to perfect us. More than likely this will be on a hospital bed. Again, we will be alone with Jesus.

Jesus will ask us, “What do you see?”

We will say, “The people look like trees.”

Jesus will stay with us a little longer. And we know how the story ends. Our vision is completely restored. Then we see the image of Love itself, and we know that we are the beautiful object of that gaze of love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

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