Every driver knows that one of the worst places you can find yourself is in the "blindspot" of another driver. You know, that little space in the line of sight between the coverage of the rear view or side mirror and the actual car next to us.
I think we've all had the experience of checking our mirrors and then changing lanes, only to hear the mad blast of a horn as a car speeds by that was previously unseen to us. As our heart races over the near collision, we practically break our necks double checking the next 12 lane changes.
And then sometimes the collision does happen. We "could have sworn there was no car next to us" but the accident happens and the problems and trauma ensue.
One of my friends noted that this is true in our personal lives as well. How many times have we "run into or over" others simply because we didn't "see them." It's the boss who regularly becomes angry and screams at his employees because "that's just how he is." It's the meddling mother-in-law who can't get through a conversation without saying something cutting or judgmental, who is just "trying to be helpful." It's the spouse who is more concerned with themselves than the marriage or family. Often no one wants to confront these issues and so the problem continues on and on. The self-awareness is minimal and the pain it causes others pours forth.
Many times our blindspots come not from an area of malice but simply from a lack of self-awareness. We don't know ourselves or our story well enough to understand what it might be like to interact with ourselves on a daily basis. I am often personally convicted when I complain about others because people have to live with me as well! They have to work, interact and relate to me- a broken, fragile person just the same.
But there is also another aspect to blindspots- we often do not see ourselves as we truly are in our deep belovedness to God. As St. Paul writes in the context of speaking about authentic love,"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Cor 13:12) We all long to see face to face. Our deepest desires involve loving and being loved, knowing and being known. This is an ache for eternity. When we see God face to face, we will finally see, know and love in fullness.
Until then, we undergo this process of revelation; of knowing only parts and pieces as we move toward the whole. It is beautiful and sorrowful, wounding and life-giving. It is the path of true love- to behold ourselves and others as a unique, precious and unrepeatable creation of God Himself.
So, perhaps this Lent we could ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our blindspots-that He would reveal the areas we regularly "run over" and miss people because we just don't see them.
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our true identity, our true belovedness, and live in that reality rather than relating to ourselves and others from our masks, woundedness, and skewed vision.
We often don't know what we don't know.
Let us ask to see clearly, all the way around.