Moderator’s Lent 2018 Message:
Seeing with the Eyes of Love
(Transcript of video message)
The season of Lent is once again upon us, a time of year when we are invited to make space in our lives for reflection and self-examination, to draw closer to God.
Now, if you’re like me, self-examination can quickly turn into self-critique and even self-loathing. I have a tendency when I look closely at myself to zero on in on those things that I wish were different. I wish I was less judgmental, more patient, better at showing others that I care, less fearful. I find no shortage of things to feel shabby about.
But I don’t believe God wants us to feel bad about ourselves. There’s quite enough of that going around already, and there’s nothing life-giving about it. Nor do I believe that guilt helps us to feel closer to God—quite the opposite!
So what if, instead of finding fault with my imperfections, I practised greeting them with compassion? Instead of scolding myself for every shortcoming, I might acknowledge how hard it is to consistently be the kind, courageous, loving person I long to be.
Maybe if I am able to regard myself with the eyes of love rather than judgment it will be easier for me to trust in God’s grace and unconditional acceptance—something I find hard to do.
Perhaps as I learn to be patient and compassionate toward myself, I will have more patience and compassion for others as well.
This is my goal for this Lenten season: to take time each day to practise seeing myself as God sees me, not as perfect, but as beloved. And I invite you to join me in this endeavour. It isn’t easy—it really does take time and practice.
My prayer for you, and for myself, is that we may learn to see with the eyes of love and discover ourselves and our world transformed.
Source: United Church of Canada