Mark 6:52 is such a sad verse: “For they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, for their heart was hardened.”
One of the great benefits I’ve discovered in writing this blog is that it requires me to live with my eyes open. If I drift through the days with a dull heart, I will have nothing to say. (And lets be honest, there are great chunks of time when I fail to update for that very reason).
One of the best, most powerful “prophetic words” I ever received was when I was about to leave for my YWAM training in 1994, and a friend from church locked his gaze on me and said, “Pay attention!” Those two words became lodged in my heart and over the years have come rushing back into my mind in airports, gardens, classrooms and conversations. Annie Dillard, the insightful author of A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek has said “A writer is a professional observer”, and I would add “so is a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
How sad that these disciples had a front row seat for the miracle of the loaves and fish, and yet never actually saw what happened. Their heart – that miraculous holy place within us – had become hardened. May God spare us from that fate and give us eyes to see. Perhaps this is why Paul’s prayer for his Ephesian friends was “That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” This has been my prayer for many years now, both for the church and for myself, because I have a secret fear: that sitting in the front row, I may still miss the show.
John Piper has said “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” So in the words of my friend, lets “Pay attention!”