Sometimes I don’t see the obvious thing right in front of my face. Have you ever seen corporate logos with ‘negative’ space or hidden symbolism? It’s right there but we often don’t see it. Do you see the hidden images in these logos? I just love searching for the hidden meaning in everyday things.
Look carefully and you can see the ‘H’ in the ‘Hidden Brain’ logo, the white arrow in ‘FedEx,’ Batman himself peeking out in the ‘Batman’ logo, the city scape in the Bronx Zoo logo – and of course the pink ‘31’ in the Baskin Robbins logo. The entire logo is present and true – for instance, it’s both an image of giraffes and the city skyline. It’s both ‘Baskin Robbins’ and it has ‘31 flavors’ of delicious ice cream.
Francis had a similar experience. Early in his life when he saw a leper he was filled with terror. Like everyone else, he’d run when he heard the familiar ringing of the leper’s bell. These were not people, but stinky ‘lepers,’ despised outcasts. One day, Francis had an ‘aha’ experience – that moment when he saw things differently. He saw things new again, as if for the first time and with perspective very different from the culture around him. Looking at the same leper, Francis now also saw the Divine. Both realities were present. Both were true. Francis saw God present in this person in front of him suffering from leprosy. He embraced the person, kissed them. Francis didn’t ignore the fact they were suffering from leprosy, but was able to look beyond that label, to transcend it, to see a deeper truth. Reflecting on this experience of Francis, we can see what it means to see the divine in each other. To see what is in front of us with a new perspective.
I invite you this summer to take a few moments each day to look at the world with a fresh set of eyes – to take a moment to see things that might have been hidden right in front of our faces. To look at the ‘other’ and to also see the Divine.