Monday Devotional
Dear Friend,
 
2018 is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novel, “Le Petit Prince” or “The Little Prince.”  The book holds the claim of being one of the most translated books in history with annual sales of more than 140 million copies per year.  It was voted the best book of the 20th century in France.
This novel is often placed in the children’s literature section of libraries and book stores.  But the life lessons included are just as important for adults as for children.  And there is a lot of wisdom in these brief pages.
For those unfamiliar with the book, it tells the story of a pilot who crashes in the Sahara Desert.  While attempting to repair his plane, he encounters a remarkable little traveler known as the little prince.  The two become friends and share many important conversations in their brief time together.  They talk about friendship, love, adventure, purpose.  
 
There are many great lessons in this novel, but the one most often quoted comes from a conversation between the little prince and a fox that he has befriended.  The fox says to him, “On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur.  L’essential est invisible pour les yeux.”   Translated from the original French it reads, ” It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”       
 
I love this little book but I particularly love that line.  One might look at a rose and think that it is just a rose.  But to the gardener who has nurtured it and grown it, it holds much greater meaning and significance.  To return to a common theme in my preaching and teaching, one might look at a beggar on the street corner and see a human being or a simple nuisance.  But with the right eyes, one might also see that this is someone’s child, someone deeply loved.  We spend a lifetime learning how to see the things that are all around us.  Even when we think we see and understand what we are looking at, oftentimes there is much more than meets the eye.  
 
This is one of the things that makes this little book so meaningful and holy to me.  It challenges me to see the world around me differently.  Jesus seemed to constantly be doing this with the people around him.  He didn’t see a tax collector, he saw a lonely man in need of a friend.  He didn’t see a Samaritan woman, he saw someone who was hurting.  He seemed to have that ability to see what was invisible to the eyes. 
 
Following the example of the Little Prince, perhaps we can look closely, but also learn to open our hearts just a bit wider than our eyes that we might see beyond the physical appearances.
    
Peace, 
 
Howard