Clara Scott wrote the hymn Open My Eyes, That I May See and it has been sung for more than one hundred years. The first stanza of the hymn begins: “Open my eyes, that I may see; Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.” I was recently reminded that I need to pray those words a little more often.
Each week, I teach people knowing that every person in front of me has a “story.” We all come into the room with different backgrounds, different experiences, and different needs. Yet all of us study the same passage, authored by the same Holy Spirit of God. And those words are sufficient for all of us.
One woman is struggling to hold on to her life and her memories as Alzheimer’s disease is stealing them away. Another woman has chosen to speak up about being attacked in her youth. She became pregnant, opted for an abortion, and is now trying to help others receive the same comfort, forgiveness, and redemption she has found. Other women are alone and lonely. Others are living with a diagnosis that has robbed them of the ability to plan for their futures.
These women sit in chairs next to women who are celebrating vacations, children’s accomplishments, grandchildren, or another wedding anniversary. Some have financial comfort while others are trying to make ends meet. Some rejoice in their families while others try not to worry. And the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to touch each of us with a personal message from God.
I’ve lived most of my life in the “pastoral fishbowl.” In other words, my life was kind of “on view” to others. Sometimes I wanted to find some cover, but most of the time I simply felt privileged to know that people cared. Our family was blessed because of that fishbowl. Most people need someone to “look” a little more closely and care about who they see. Therefore, all of us should sing the words “Open my eyes, that I may see; Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.” People sang that hymn one hundred years ago, and it is still a valid prayer today. We need God to open our eyes to the people around us so that we can know the truth of their stories and care for them as a brother or sister in Christ.
Some of my favorite people are some of the lesser-known servants. They care for people quietly, simply because the Lord has directed their eyes. They glimpsed the truth in front of them and then chose to care. Even as I type, I think of their names and faces. I can only imagine how heavy their crown has become and how full their treasure room is in heaven. When they sing, “Open my eyes, that I may see,” I think they mean every word. They are an example to me, and I look forward to spending eternity with Jesus and with them.
All of us have a circle of influence we can use to serve God and others. The people we influence with God’s Word can then use that knowledge to impact others. But first, we need to pray for God to open our eyes and show us the truth he wants us to see. All of us are probably missing some “stories” that God would choose for us to know. The point of this life is not to do good things we think of. Instead, our goal should be to do those things God has chosen for us.
It may not seem like a big difference, but it is everything. So, let’s pray the words of that old hymn and ask God to open our eyes to whatever truth and whoever’s story he wants us to see. I look forward to hearing how the Spirit answers your prayers. We are all surrounded by people who need someone to know them and care. Whose truth will you “glimpse” today?