Seeing With Your Heart

I learned something new this week from my friend Jane.

I love it when I am made aware of something I never knew anything about. Especially when that thing has the potential to bring me peace, grow my prayer life, and open my eyes to a new way of connecting with my God.

Also, it’s free and I can do it without leaving home which is a bonus these days.

Have I piqued your curiosity?

Most of you have probably heard of a prayer practice called Lectio Divina. According to Wikipedia, Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s word.

But have you ever heard of Visio Divina?

By definition, Visio Divina, or “sacred seeing”, is an ancient form of prayer that continues to be a powerful method of meditation. Art becomes the sacrament that opens our hearts to the indwelling Spirit of God. The visible makes the invisible present in a palpable way.

In another definition it said “Visio Divina is seeing with the eyes of your heart.

Jane sent me some pictures that she found were powerful for her in her practice of Visio Divina. I shared one of them above. For some reason that black and white photo of the lion and the little girl moved me. Feeling safe and cared for is high on the list of my emotional needs. I’m a pretty big scaredy cat at heart.

When I have a choice to make in life, I always take the safe route. I admire those adventurous, free-spirt types.

I picked responsible over romantic in the husband department. I picked Rockford, Illinois over many other choices for my Medical Technology internship after college because it was closest to home. (No offense to anyone who is from Rockford, but it’s not a real exciting place.) It’s well-done over rare for my burgers and I never sit in the front seat of a roller coaster.

Get the picture?

I saw in this image what I need and the eyes of my heart showed me that I have it. I have the safety and the care I need in the power and the love of God. I can relax, I can let go.

I want to live in the shadow of that power and love, always, like that little girl.

Oh wait, I do. So do you.


*I encourage you to try Visio Divina yourself this week. Click on the link below for the five steps of Visio Divina. I have also included some sample images. More can be found if you Google “Visio Divina images.”


Contemplative Prayer: The Five Steps of Visio Divina


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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