The Pursuit of Seeing

There is seeing, and there is seeing.

Ann Voskamp mentions it in her book, One Thousand Gifts, and last summer when I read it, I felt like she put words to what I’d been trying to do for the past year or so.

There is a way to knowingly step outside ourselves and look around us– to see our family, our friends, our community– there’s a way to take all of that in as a gift.

I’ve written about it here before, when I’ve needed to stop and step back to see my boys and my husband. Even to see my God.

Maybe that’s what the Holy Spirit gives that is so valuable– a new way of seeing and beholding, a new way of being.

This morning I chopped onions and minced garlic and poured olive oil. I sprinkled cumin and dashed salt, I cracked pepper and rinsed beans and spooned rice.

And for a second I thought, All this work for a 20 minute lunch? What’s the point?

And then the Solomon inside of me gave way to something stronger, and I thought about how God must delight in the way we delight– that He must take joy in our cooking and in our eating, in our experiencing and in our seeing.

And if God can see that as precious, me standing in my sweatpants, making a mess of my kitchen so our family can eat– if He can cherish that, I should, too.

This next season is going to be hard, and I admit, I’m scared. I’m scared of not communicating enough, of not listening enough or not sharing enough. I’m scared of losing my own space, afraid that selfishness will strangle my joy.

So for the next 5 years (and then some), I need to stop and see.


Uganda 1.8

Photo by Travis Curtice

How does the blind man see? I would argue he sees with his whole being. He sees with his hands, his ears, his footsteps; he sees with his breath and his heart.

He sees with all that he is, all that is around him.

I’d like to see that way.

The Pursuit of Seeing is the pursuit of life, slowed-down.

If you’re part of the online mommy world, or even the minimalist realm, you’ll hear about it plenty: the push to slow down, the importance of simplifying and stopping and treasuring.

But can we stop reading about how to, and actually do it?

Dive in, be blind, experience your life with your whole being. Let it sink in.

This is a place of STORIES, and today my story was about smelling simmering veggies and cumin. It was about eating with my house full of men and recognizing– seeing –that it’s beautiful to share my table with them.

What do you see?

If you blog, join me in the journey– write your story, your pursuit, and post it in the comments section.

If you don’t blog…join us anyway. Let us know what you see.

We’ll be focusing on seeing monthly.

If you need a little nudge, choose your definition of seeing. Choose how you want to look:

–to come to know

–to perceive the importance of

–to care for

–to notice someone

–to become aware

–to imagine as possibility

Annie Dillard says it like this:

“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf.

We must somehow take in a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here.

Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

Annie saw something in the creek bed, and she chose not to close her eyes.

Friends, let us open our eyes and see, that we may journey together in the adventurous pursuit of life sweetly lived.


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