With Open Eyes

An elderly priest who had spent nearly all of his life cloistered in a monastery fell seriously ill. One night, as he languished in fever he had a vision of an angel standing at his bedside.
“What have you come for?” he asked the angel.
“To lead you home,” was the reply.
The old man felt grateful that relief was within his grasp.
“And is it a very beautiful world to which I am going?” he asked.
“It is a very beautiful world you are leaving,” replied the angel.
As the priest considered the angel’s words, he realized that he had seen very little of his present world—only the fields and the trees around the monastery.
“But I have seen very little of the world which I am leaving,” he said to the angel.
“Then,” said the angel, “I fear you will see very little beauty in the world to which you are going.”
Gripped with sorrow and regret, the old man begged that he might be granted two more years with which to explore all the world’s loveliness. His request was granted and he lived out his final days with open eyes—finding beauty in the smallest delights. (Adapted from a story told by William Barclay in this book.)

Where will you find beauty this weekend?

Sharing with Sandy:


  1. Joanne Norton says

    I LIKED this!! And, some of the time when I’m wondering when, how I’ll be leaving this world and going to the eternal one… and how I can deal with the way I see things in our world. Good thinking. Good sharing. Thank you.

  2. smoothstones says

    I love this story, and it goes to the heart of why, most days, I’m not all that excited to die and go to heaven or even for the Lord’s return. I want the here and now just a little while longer, and I do believe that my suffering is making me better for Him.

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