Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (John 20:8)
Peter Wohlleben, in his book The Hidden Life of Trees, refutes the oft-spoken adage: You can’t see the forest for the trees. As a forester, he would claim, if you really want to know about the forest, you need to look more closely at the trees themselves. His book is an exhilarating examination of the interconnective nature of trees as they exist under a hidden canopy. It may be true that some people get bogged down in the minutia of details, but others are so focused on the “big picture” that they are not able to bend down and look at the details that go into the flyover patterns of life.
The footrace that took place on Easter Day was won by John, but he stopped at the opening merely to look. Simon Peter, panting and puffing, went past him, straight into the tomb, where he examined and looked over the detritus of the resurrection. Finally, John went into the tomb for himself, and he “saw and believed.” The account uses the words “look” and “see” to distinguish different ways that our eyes work. Sometimes we see linens and clothes, and sometimes we see the truth of God’s power. It is this kind of seeing that gives rise to belief.
In looking for lofty goals, we may fail to see God in the daily details.
Notice the “little pictures” that make up your life’s arc.
Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister, and enjoys—with his wife Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.