VISION OF THE UNSEEN WORLD
“We look not at the things which are seen
but at the things which are not seen” (2 Cor. 4:18)
Our physical vision is limited to certain portions of the visible world we live in, which we observe everyday having no doubts concerning its reality. Not only do weh have a fairly clear vision of the material world, but we also have a clear vision of the spiritual world. Though we see many sad things and failures in this present world, we can also see with our spiritual vision, the spiritual gladness on earth and in heaven among the angels and saints which fill our souls with delight. We see many apparent successes and the great honor poured out upon them but we also clearly see the eternal punishment and torment that awaits the unjust. We see the suffering which many righteous ones willingly endure and we clearly see their great reward in heaven. They willingly underwent much torment and punishment and were awarded with everlasting delight in the heavenly kingdom.
We see wicked tyrants and unjust leaders mocking and tormenting those who choose to follow Christ with love and devotion. By every means possible, they repeatedly sought to force these martyrs to deny Christ. But we see these tyrants failing in their wickedness and are now are undergoing severe punishment for their deeds. This physical world which we can see is clearly visible to our physical eyes, but the spiritual world which is not visible to our physical eyes is also clearly visible to healthy spiritual eyes. Spiritual vision is far superior and more refined and efficient than physical vision. This spiritual vision which may enable us to see God and the angelic powers with whom we rejoice together with a plentitude of saints. Generally many people see only what their physical eyes observe and if they remain spiritually blind and they will be unable to see the existence of the entire spiritual world, nevertheless man remains both physical and spiritual and his two visions are both most useful to him.
If someone were to close his physical eyes and so fails to see the visible world, the world of course will continue to exist even though his vision was cut off by his deliberately closed eyes.. Also if someone willingly deliberately shuts his spiritual eyes he will fail to see the spiritual world. We must ask the Lord to open our spiritual eyes, so that we may clearly behold the treasures that lie before us. When we do observe the things which our spiritual eyes reveal the entire kingdom of heaven will also will be seen. We will see the saints standing before us in a delightful vision; we will see Christ, the Theotokos and the angels with all the saints, which are clearly depicted on the holy icons both in Church and in our homes.
They remind us of the kingdom that await us beyond this present world, reminding us to prepare for the dread judgment seat that may await us, especially if we do not concern ourselves with this most important aspect of our lives. We will see everything in all its glory, the physical attractions of things in this present world detract many of us from the most important thing of all which is vision of the beauty of the spiritual kingdom of heaven.
Christ spoke of this kingdom saying: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:10). Also: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . .” (Mat. 6:19). With each passing minute follows passing hours and days, and those days become years which pass by most rapidly, for our life is brief though at times we think we will be here for ever, and seldom is the subject of death and departure even mentioned. But everyone certainly faces death and judgment from which there is no possible escape. The facts remain, that beyond the days and years of this life comes death which brings us into eternity either for eternal life or eternal death, according to what we choose in this present life. Our choice is vital and most important to our future permanent life which will be in accordance which we choose in this present world. May God open our spiritual eyes so that, with our improved vision we may more clearly behold the glorious kingdom of heaven which is the goal of our present earthly life.