Have you seen the ducks at Dairy Queen?
See them? Go ahead. Look carefully. See the eye, the beak, the fluffy little body? You see it now, right? Had you seen it before?
I can’t go to Dairy Queen without seeing them now. Just for the record, I do love Dairy Queen. Don’t frequent the place, but there’s one along the bike trail and I am all about the rewards after a good day of riding.
And that store, right along the W&OD Trail was where my eyes were first opened – to the duck. Our family sat at a small table, just beneath the advertising poster on the wall of the store. Our pre-school-aged daughter Olivia pointed to the sign and said, “Look at the duckie!”
We looked, but no, we didn’t see it. She insisted, pointing and describing the details. She wasn’t making this up. Right there in the ice cream, she saw the duckie. And finally, looking as if through her eyes, we saw it too. All the little ice cream swirls completed the heads and beaks and big duckie eyes.
Children see with different eyes. Eyes that haven’t already decided “what something is.” They are open in a way adult eyes don’t seem to be. But even in adults the child-like eyes are still there. I know because, with her help, my eyes could see it as she did. It wasn’t hidden. It just wasn’t apparent until I had a bit of help.
I think the eyes of faith are this way. Sometimes we just need a bit of help seeing what’s already there. Like an Escher painting, we need a shift in perspective to see what we didn’t initially see. Once we see it, it’s obvious. But we may need someone sitting at our table to point it out to us.
This week I heard someone say the Trinity is like this: God above us, God beside us, God within us. I probably have heard that before but it never quite struck me this way. That Christ is the “God beside us” – opening the scriptures to us, imploring us, giving us strength, helping us see – opening our eyes to what’s obvious to Him but not yet to us.
I know the trinity is a sticking point between me and my Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. The divinity of Christ, his membership with the three, the part He plays in connecting me with God the Father and God the Spirit, is not known to them. They don’t know “God beside them,” just above and within. The Lord and Father they know compels them to incredible obedience – just as that same Father does me. I just have the Son, beside me, who I too often take for granted, pointing the way.
I wonder how many times He has said, “Don’t you see?” And I haven’t. Or I haven’t heard Him. Or I just looked the other way. He is in the perspective-changing business, and He’s all about the opening of eyes. For some I imagine it isn’t till the end of things that His presence allows them to make the triune connection. Of course then any child could see it.