Is Jesus in Your Peripheral Vision?
By Susan Naslund
"O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord." (Isaiah 2:5)
In his first homily in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis cited this verse from Isaiah and spoke of journeying with God. He expressed his wish that all of us will have the courage to walk in the presence of the Lord. This got me thinking about my own walk with God.
Literally speaking, I am a walker. Walking is my favorite form of exercise, so this metaphor works for me. Walking lifts my heart and energizes my soul. While I am usually invigorated by my outings, some days my feet just seem to find all of the puddles in the street and trip on every crack in the sidewalk. Often I encounter someone who needs a listening ear when I had planned a solitary walk.
Spiritually speaking, I am also a walker. As I go about my days, I imagine myself matching my daily pace with the footsteps of Jesus. If you have ever been in a marching band, you know what I mean. You have to learn how to use your peripheral vision to match your stride with the person beside you. So, when I find myself delayed by unplanned events, I remind myself how Jesus was often stopped during his journey to perform an act of healing. When things are not working out as I expected and I seem to be heading in the wrong direction, I remember how Jesus frequently took an unusual course and found himself in the perfect place to minister to a scorned woman or to touch the untouchable. It takes courage to look to the left and look to the right to see where God might want to use me even while I am keeping my focus on the tasks in front of me. I remember, too, that sometimes Jesus walked into the desert or the garden to pray. I must take that respite on my journey as well, and I imagine Jesus putting his feet up next to mine as I close my eyes to pray.
Like Pope Francis, it is my wish that we will always be brave enough to match our stride with the Lord's, always keeping Jesus in our peripheral vision.