Jesus of the Seeing

My Grandmother’s funeral was last week.  All of her children plus all her grandchildren were there.  And we celebrated her whole life.  Her kids knew her most and most benefitted from her calmness and kindness.  And we grandchildren benefit too from a  legacy of life-giving, not life-diminishing.  She was loving and beautiful and I felt safe with her.

Us cousins do not see each other often, living spread across Canada and beyond (its been 20 years since we were all in one place). And in truth, we hardly know each other.  We know about each other to degrees – but knowing hearts and minds and journeys and questions–that is a gift for time and proximity.  And yet we were bound by love for this one woman who did see each of us as dear and good….Family.

Here is a prayer that reminded me of this funeral space – where we pay attention to one life with the full knowledge we will never fully know one person.   Where we gather from our diverse lives to celebrate what we have in common.


And yet He is there – right in the place where one person is right in front of us to see, value.   For us who are being asked to see the one person, this one person in front of us, maybe this is a prayer.


“Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?  I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.”  Luke 7:44

Jesus of Nazareth,
Strangers came to you
Because, with you,
They hoped that they’d be seen
For who they were
Not for who the seers saw.
May we who are strangers see each other,
Because we, like you,
Need to be seen to be believed.

–Padraig O’Tuama

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