Dave Brisbin 1.3.21
Our little dog was attacked by an owl in our backyard a few nights ago—an owl, can you believe it? She came running back in screaming and bleeding and now won’t go back out into the yard. She now sees the backyard as a scary place, even if daytime with no owls in sight. Are we much different? Looking to a new year with hope for change, are we looking with eyes capable of seeing change? This last year of loss has been so profound, and the first week of the new year not much better, that we’ve been programmed into a fearful mindset, a way of seeing that won’t change with the calendar.

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Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. And if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.” It’s that last line that signals to us in English that Jesus is speaking metaphorically. But in Aramaic, Jesus’ native language with its layers of simultaneous meaning, the metaphorical meaning is also literal. He is telling us that until the eye, the view, opinion, mindset with which we look at life is clear, simple, sincere, straight, true—even the light we see, the order and balance in our moments, will appear dark—chaotic, disordered. Scary. With no owl in sight. To rise above the programming of the loss of a year or a lifetime takes an eye clear enough to always choose in the direction of connection with each other and everything in our moments. The change to a new year is a great milestone, but changing the eye of our mindset is what really makes the year new.

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