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Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

November 18th, 2013
Anne Ferguson

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Lord, please let me see.” (LK 18:39)

“Picture yourself in this blind man’s place, as you read and pray with this passage. What would you ask Jesus to do for you?” This was the question put before me at a Catholic Student Organization Formation Night. We were doing Lectio Devina—a form of praying and reflecting on Scripture—with this exact passage from Luke.

Each time I read this Gospel, infinitely many new requests come to mind. The same sheepish, humble feeling of asking for something from God remains, but the question always changes in one way or another. As I prayed with that passage that night, I realized that this time, my prayer was exactly the same as the blind man’s: “Lord, please let me see.”

I wanted to see God in the millions of little ways he is around me each day. I wanted to see them so that I would never again feel lost and far from him, emotions that I knew never reflected the truth of God’s love for me, but ones that had been strong nevertheless.

The image of a boat came to mind.

I had just returned from Creighton Campus Ministry’s Encounter retreat. I went into that weekend needing desperately to find God in the midst of what had been a hard month for me. I confided in a few people there that currently, my faith life felt like me being left in the middle of a stormy ocean with no sign of God anywhere. In the middle of a family problem, classes getting harder, work being busy, and being challenged to defend something I strongly believe in against much opposition, I couldn’t find God.

On the second day of Encounter, we were given two hours to go to Confession, pray, walk around, reflect, do whatever we wanted with God, essentially. I remember walking a labyrinth in the woods at the retreat center and getting increasingly more frustrated. The ways the path spiraled closer to the center at one point and then brought me all the way to the very edge of the maze in the next instant reminded me of my own faith. Some days I felt so close to God, and on others, like recently, I felt so far away. I was angry because I was here, on Encounter, praying, listening to talks, sharing my story, doing everything I could, but I still couldn’t find God.

As I trudged through the leaves that afternoon, I felt my angry thoughts fade slowly from my mind. I began just focusing on the sound on my feet shuffling through the leaves of the labyrinth, and a deep, unexplainable peace filled me. No matter how close or far away I got from the center of the labyrinth, I was always within its path. No matter how closer or far away I felt from God at the moment, I was still always in his hands.

I walked back to my small group meeting room and noticed, for the first time since we’d been meeting in there, that there was a picture of a ship on the wall. Not just any picture though, it was portrayed from the perspective of someone standing on the deck looking out over its contents and the sea.

It was one of those moments when I felt like God’s love washing over me. There it was, clearly before me, a picture of a ship when I had said I felt like I was struggling in the middle of the ocean. As I reflect on that retreat, I realize that’s exactly what it had been: a time to regroup, a time to breathe, to rest, to be pulled out of the waves and onto a ship.

I never realized all the other little ways God was whispering to me before then—star-gazing under a beautiful November sky, reading Palanca letters from friends, and sharing my story with my small group. All of these little ways were preparing my heart for the moment when God would break through and show me, clearly enough so that I wouldn’t doubt it, that he was right there with me.

If I could let my heart be still, find peace in the middle of the ocean, if I could open my eyes than I could see all the little ways that God was, and had been, with me, leading up to the moment when the suffering would fade and I’d be back on the ship again.

Thinking of the blind man, then, I realized how blind I can be to the little ways that God is with me daily. My prayer for myself and for us all, is that our eyes may be opened to the beauty and love of God all around us.

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