Today I saw three cardinals during my morning walk. No, this is not a column about Roman Catholic bishops. The cardinals in question are the avian kind, and they have come to be a part of God’s “love language” to me, for no other reason than because He knows I like to see them, so He sends them. At least I have chosen to believe, by faith, that these cardinal sightings are not accidental, but their pleasure to me is known by God, and so it if it known by God then it is sent by God.
In any case, I know for a fact that throughout most of my life I never noticed cardinals—or birds at all, for that matter. They were just some distant wallpaper music in the background of my very important daily business. I am sure I would have noticed it if their sound had ceased, and mourned the loss of it. I am sure I would have been like Jonah, complaining to God indignantly about the loss of a shade plant that he had never thought to thank God for while he was enjoying it.
This morning a new thought occurred to me, and I prayed, “Lord, just as you opened my eyes to cardinals I never used to see, open my eyes to other things you want me to see, for the sake of your kingdom.” I asked Him to let me see people who are hurting. (I am usually so full of myself and how I look to people and whether I look weird or alright that I don’t see them at all.) I asked Him to open my eyes to “discern spirits” (which is one of the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:10). I asked Him to point out to me the person in the room who is depressed or suicidal, the loner, the brokenhearted. I also asked Him to open my eyes to the best answer in a conversation with my husband, the response that will make for peace and build him up.
If God can bring cardinals to my attention that other people walking down the street do not necessarily notice, then I believe He can do that in many other areas. And I think the sky is the limit for asking God for open eyes. God is in the business of opening eyes.