Saturday, March 21, 2015

OnFire #327 Eyes to See

OnFire Encouragement Letter
Onfire #327 Eyes to See

A few nights ago, we went out to see the northern lights. We had heard that it was a possibility, and it was a clear night here in Manitoba, so we set out to see what we could see.

In the past we have seen some spectacular sights. There was one time when we lived on Grand Manan when they lit up most of the sky in gorgeous reds and greens. On PEI another time, we saw them as fingers reaching up into the sky at about 2 in the morning. And then in Shediac another time we watched them shimmering on the horizon. We had high hopes since the news had been talking up the opportunity.

As we left the bright lights of habitation to find a dark country road, we could see a little bit of green developing to the north. We parked the car, set up the camera and waited to see what might develop on the skyline.

The aurora are always neat to see, but they were not very bright that night. We gazed for a while and then I decided to take some pictures hoping that the camera could see more than our eyes.  It was an experiment, really. I knew the camera was capable, but I had never shot night scenes with it before.

My goodness, the results were pretty. After experimenting we came away with some nice shots. We were able to see green fingers of light reaching into the heavens like searchlights against the stars. 

Most remarkable to me was the fact that the northern lights were only barely visible to us.  We could only see a dim cloud of light shifting in the sky. No fingers. And yet, they were plainly visible to the camera. We needed help to see what we could not see.

Faith is like that. It is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1*) In a way, it is seeing what we do not yet see. 

Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus is interesting in this light. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…” In other words, that their faith would be strengthened to see more of God’s working around them.

What did Paul hope they would see? “… the hope to which he has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…” (Ephesians 1:18-19) He wanted them to have hope because things will not always be the same (inheritance) and God is powerful. These things are not always plain to us. We need eyes of faith to see them.

Like the northern lights which were more visible to the camera than to our eyes, God is undoubtedly doing more than we can perceive because he is more powerful than we can imagine.

May our desire be to see more of God so that our hope is confident. May our prayer be “Open the eyes eyes of my heart.”

I hope this helps. Be on fire.


OnFire is a letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis.  Married  to Jan, Troy is a chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces, and has 20 years of pastoral experience. This letter published Mar 21, 2015. *New International Version, 1984. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or reply, email Blog located at