Visio Divina for 4/5/11 – “Raising of Lazarus” – Day 3 (Seeing)


Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination below. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see. Be open to images, thoughts, impressions, and feelings that come into your awareness.


This is such a powerful illumination!  Every time I pray with it, I “see” something different.

The “word” that caught my attention as I read through the text was: “…everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”  I was reminded of a time of deep struggle in my life – a time when I experienced much anger toward God.  During that time I stopped praying, I stopped going to church, and I thought I’d renounced even God.  As I prayed today, I wondered what upheld me during that downward spiral; I wondered what sustained my ‘belief’ in God, so that I would “never die.”  Then I sat with this beautiful illumination, and my eyes were drawn to the three little gold figures to the left of Lazarus.  I had my answer.

What upheld me during that painful time of blindness and self-imposed isolation was: community.  Remarkable – given that I’d renounced God, church, and basically everybody else during that time.    I didn’t realize it then, but I know now that there was a “community of healers,” a community of believers, holding me up to God in prayer.  They sustained my ‘belief’ at a time when I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – believe.  In this illumination, I see that community represented by those golden figures next to Lazarus…next to me…and next to you.

I felt much gratitude well up in my heart over this realization.  Then it occurred to me: I can do the same thing for others who are stuck in blindness; for others who are lost and stuck in a “tomb” of some sort.  I can give back what I was freely given, by being a member of someone else’s “community of healers” – whether they’re aware of it or not.  I can be part of that cadre of people who help carry the burdens of someone else, at a time when they simply cannot.  This is one way in which I can accompany Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as he goes in search of that one lost sheep.  Amazing…

Who do you think is in your “community of healers?”

Is there someone you know, stuck in a “tomb” and struggling to believe, for whom you could “appear” through prayer, as one of those golden figures?

–Amie Schumacher

©Raising of Lazarus, Donald Jackson 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.  Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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