Words of Hope: A Barometer of Health
Dad believed one of the most telling ways for us to observe if we love well was to examine the quality of our relationships. Relationships reveal how we love one another. In these relationships, an excellent barometer of health would be the words we use to talk about the relationship in our minds and with others. Words reveal health. They are an external revelation of what resides in our hearts and minds. Often, we are totally unaware of our words and what they reveal to us.
Before we can assess the quality of our words, it helps to use the same measurement we utilize to evaluate healthy vision. We can’t tell if something is healthy unless we are healthy. A clarifying tool to help us view our words through a health lens is existential diagnosis. This diagnosis means I can see the world and myself through the lens of truth. Dad gave this explanation for existential diagnosis that is helpful — It is taking your eyeballs out and turning them around to assess yourself. Because so much of life is skewed by generational sin, pain, hardship, selfishness, difficulties, sins, and vices, we cannot evaluate our words accurately because we see through a diseased lens. As we attempt to look at the world around us, we will be blinded if our lens is skewed. Existential diagnosis is the ability, through God’s wisdom and peace to see what is true, what is noble, what is right, what is lovely, and what is admirable.
Viktor Frankl explains how the human eye is designed to see the world but not itself. When the eye is functioning in a healthy way, we see everything around us with clarity. However, an eye that is diseased casts images of the disease into view. An unhealthy eye sees itself. Similarly, a person looking at the world through a diseased or troubled point of view sees everything through the lens of his own troubled and infected viewpoint.
I thank the Lord for His healing hand, which heals the sight of the blind. He heals us from the way we view the world through a lens of fracture. He heals all our diseases. He restores our sight. He helps us see the world through His eyes of infinite love, compassion, justice, and truth.
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” – Mark 10:46-52