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Young Artist Sees People in Whole New Light

In his book My Name Is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok's main character is an awakening artist, beginning to see the world with a different perspective. The author captures a simple moment at a family dinner from the emerging artist's point of view:

That was the night I began to realize that something was happening to my eyes. I looked at my father and saw lines and planes I had never seen before. I could feel with my eyes. I could feel my eyes moving across the lines around his eyes and into and over the deep furrows on his forehead. He was thirty-five years old, and there were lines on his face and forehead. I could feel the lines with my eyes and feel, too, the long straight flat bridge of his nose and the clear darkness of his eyes and the strong thick curves of the red eyebrows and the thick red hair of his beard graying a little—I saw the stray gray strands in the tangle of hair below his lips. I could feel lines and points and planes. I could feel texture and color …. I felt myself flooded with the shapes and textures of the world around me. I closed my eyes. But I could still see that way inside my head. I was seeing with another pair of eyes that had suddenly come awake.

What if we changed the way we looked at people? What if we paid attention to people with a new set of eyes that "suddenly came awake"? Might we see the helpless and hopeless condition of people with whom we come into contact every day? Noticing may be the first step in bringing someone the good news about Jesus and the kingdom of God … We begin to see others, ourselves, and even God differently. People we never noticed before (because we never paid attention to them) quite suddenly matter to us in ways we can't explain.

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