Attend! Eyes and Ears

I’m so glad this is Leap Year so I had an extra day to think about what I’ve learned about Attend! this month.

Certainly the way we most often use Attend! is in the sense of paying attention. Where we notice, perceive, behold, and otherwise take in information through the use of our senses, particularly our eyes and our ears.

We certainly take in ideas through taste and touch and smell. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” God gives us the sacraments … baptism where we feel the washing of water and the Supper where we taste and smell the bread and cup.

Dr. Perrin has a fascinating video about Embodied Education and the Five Senses. He teaches how we ought to perceive the atmosphere of our homeschool through our senses and be certain that truth is truly perceived in a fully organic way.

While I certainly agree with him – and he gives me a great deal to consider – I think the scriptures emphasize the use of our eyes and our ears. There are 13 search results when I look up “eyes to see and ears to hear” in the ESV. They range from disappointment to joy, from rebuke to promise. That isn’t even counting how eyes and ears are used individually –

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

As you see above, Scripture use eyes and ears in a deeper capacity than merely noting some sort of information.

Isaiah 32:1-8 (italics mine) says,

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable. For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.

When the King reigns – and we pray “Thy kingdom come” believing that both the kingdom exists now and will come in fullness – eyes will be opened and ears will give attention.

Attention – Attend! – means to see and hear and perceive with understanding. It isn’t the simple effort of sight. It isn’t the easy to tune out hearing of background music. Attend! means that we use our faculties to see and hear then use our mind to understand. We process information gleaned when we Attend. We obtain a fully orbed, complete, clear, true idea – not impression – of the world around us.

And the truth points us to Christ. Always.

So, practically, what does this mean? That when we sin, we repent and seek truth of the situation. Were words hurtful, but actions supportive? Attend! to the actions and rejoice. Repent of resentment and your own hurtful words. Is there not peace in your home? Attend! to triggers where the peace breaks down and remind others that we are called to gentleness and respect … to not cause offense and to not be easily offended.

In our schools, as Dr. Perrin taught, we are to embody truth (and goodness and beauty). In creation, God looked (saw beauty), spoke (truth), and proclaimed (goodness). Are we perceiving beauty, speaking truth, and proclaiming goodness through our senses?

In working through the first module of Jennifer Dow’s course on Saturday, she said something about how through Classical Christian Tradition, we become more human as Christ is human. Which reminds me of how many times we’re told to imitate Christ, conforming ourselves to Him. We must look and listen and perceive Him to do this. We train our minds through looking, listening, and perceiving through Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

All of which point us to Christ. Always.

Finally, when we truly see Him in the last days:

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

We work to conform ourselves, but we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye on His return.

One Comment

  1. so, so, so grateful for our Savior!!! thank you for the reminders to attend to Him during my educational pursuits! it takes action on my part & begging for His grace!

    thanks for the links to Perrin & Jennifer Dow- I need to check those out!

    PS- you've reminded me of some contemplating I've done on how God calls us to attend through the senses of taste & smell (think Old Testament feasts, Lotd's supper, call to hospitality)

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