Visio Divina for 3/15/11 – “Suffering Servant” – 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.


Yesterday I was left wondering whose suffering I ignore. As my eyes wander over this dark Illumination, I am drawn instantly to the figure in the middle. A malnourished human form, perhaps a child, surrounded by what looks to be bars and chain-link fencing.

Of course I know that there is suffering the world, terrible suffering. The suffering in Japan is but one example that brings this reality home. Does it matter? “Yes” is the first word of my answer…”but” is the second. How quickly the answers fill my mind:

“But…that’s just how the world is.”

“But…that’s a larger socioeconomic issue, and we have to look at the entire system.”

“But…I can only do so much for those so far away, I have to focus on what I can change.”

But nothing. The answers to the problem are very important, yet right now this Illumination is calling me simply to see suffering for what it is, and to question whether or not it matters. I find my response to be much more sincere, much more meaningful, if I just stop it short. Does it matter? “Yes.”

The child in the Illumination is facing away from me. If I use my imagination, I can see myself entering the abstract scene, passing beyond the child and turning around to see him or her face to face. Looking into the eyes of the suffering child, there is no longer any “but”.

I hold you to be of great account, child, and I will not hide my face from you behind my reasons.

-Taylor Morgan

© Suffering Servant, Donald Jackson, 2005. 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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