I had an interesting conversation with my boss recently; we were talking about an amazing film, Seven Pounds, and the main character’s unbelievable quest to redeem his life while drastically changing other’s lives through giving. The main character donates several of his body parts to people who he researched were worthy. My boss and I were talking about how the decision to be an organ donor, to be a giver of life, was such an easy one for us; how natural it seems to continue life after ours will end. “I don’t need my kidneys in the grave!” I exclaimed as we laughed at the thought of withholding a potentially life changing gift from another person in our death.
I shared with her the personal story of losing my aunt at 8 years old and the dozens of lives she changed from being willing to donate her organs. Since she was only 34 when she died, all of her organs were of use including parts of her skin and her eyes. I didn’t know about her eyes until about 5 years ago when I was on a walk with my grandmother and we were talking about Rene. It blew my mind that my aunt’s eyes are out there in the world helping another person to see the beauty of God’s creation. I wondered if I ever saw them, would I recognize them? Would they recognize me? I know that recognition is deeply rooted in the brain and that the eye is simply a nerve receiver acting as a gateway to the brain but I wondered…. would I know, even if Rene’s eyes didn’t?
I used to work for a family who lived in a beautiful home up on the vista ridge in NW Portland. I loved driving home from their house because their street wound down the Slyvan hill and offered a spectacular view of the city. I would often take close friends there to see how beautiful Portland was and loved to show off my little hidden view-point. I am embarrassed to admit that on Saturday night, driving home, I had the sudden urge to go there. I wasn’t sure I could still find it; I was coming from a different direction and it has been 6 years at least since I had been up that hill. I opened my heart to where I once tread and managed to stumble once again upon the view that had captured my heart nearly ten years ago.
Just like the life which seems to be passing me by at light speed that view has changed. Still I was filled with that old familiar feeling of wonder at the beauty of the lights, the river, the mountains and hills. I’m not sure why I was so desperate to stand there again; why I had to divert my course to a place where I was once very happy but nevertheless there I found myself staring out at my home. In that moment I begged the Lord for new old eyes. I want rebirth, renewing, refining. I know that I am where I am supposed to be for the time being. However that truth lives in direct conflict with the urge to burn my life down for no other reason than I feel the desire. So for now I am asking to see things as if I had a new pair of eyes. I’m looking at my life with a new perspective with my old eyes and open to what the Lord would have me give.