Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lenten Mercy~Meditation: Religion Resides

Religion resides in our eyes rather than in our minds. We see; then we love. Alun Lewis ~ poet ~ 1915-1944

We see that Alun Lewis was only twenty-nine when he died a tragic death towards the end of the Second World War, yet  even at that young age he had this wonderful spiritual insight. Resides is a good word with rich meanings: abides, is present, exists, rests, lives, has a home in, occupies, settles, stays ~ as in a residence, dwells, endures, inhabits, is located in, nests, remains.

This sense of religion as inhabiting and nesting in our eyes is totally biblical. The whole religion of the Hebrews is based on what their ancestors saw: the sea opening up, the thunder cloud over Sinai, the fire-torch leading them through the wilderness by night, the bread from heaven, the water from the rock. And seeing is prominent in the Gospels. Every time Jesus speaks a parable he's giving us a picture we can see with our interior eyes:

A man who was on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell in with robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. Luke 10: 30

And at other times Jesus tells us to see, actually see, with our ocular eye sight. 

I say to you, then, do not fret over your life, how to support it with food and drink; or your body, how to keep it clothed. Is not life itself a greater gift than food, the body than clothing? See how the birds of the air never sow, or reap, or gather grain into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6: 25,26

And the wonders of Jesus, full of love, begin with his noticing and seeing. The raising up of the widow's son at Naim comes to mind:

And now it happened that he was going into a city called Naim, attended by his disciples and by a great multitude of people. And just as he drew near the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out to his burial; the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a crowd of folk from the city went with her. When the Lord saw her, he had pity on her, and said, Do not weep.  Luke 7:11

Maybe today: think less; look more. A picture's worth a thousand words, we say. That's really a religious truism. 
Religion resides in our eyes rather than in our minds. We see; then we love.


  1. Seeing is believing. Thomas needed to see the wounds of Jesus to believe. We must believe so much without seeing and still let faith reside in us.

  2. When I see things I understand so much better. It is true seeing is believing. How could you not believe there is a God when you gaze at the sky, the mountains, the sea. I am filled with hope, that all things are possible with God at your side and then we can pass it on to others. Poetry and scriptures, what a great combination.

  3. We also tend to remember things we have seen. Picturing things that happened in the Bible allows us to let us reside deeper within us. Just hearing it without stopping to let it play out in your mind doesn't have the same lasting effect.

  4. How different this is from the saying, "walk by faith not by sight". Yet where did that faith come from but most likely sight. Maybe from a number of people we admired along the way, something we read, the beauty of the earth, sea and sky, miracles which happened right before our eyes!