"I would like to rise very high, Lord; Above my city, Above the world, Above time. I would like to purify my glance and borrow your eyes.”
I was introduced to these poetic words by theologian and writer Michael Quoist while a student at Wheaton, and I carried them with me when I left for nursing school in Chicago. As my view changed from Blanchard Hall and its front lawn to the Chicago skyline and its expressways, these words helped me refocus my eyes.
The transition to urban life and nursing was intense. As I moved into a world of concrete, I encountered poverty, and I cared for people who were in the midst of health crises. I prayed to have God’s eyes to see the city, the people I encountered in the hospital, and classmates and neighbors as God would see them. By the end of nursing school, I had experienced a remarkable transformation and gained a new perspective.
God had not only given me eyes to see but a heart that desired to stay in the city to serve. The same desire was stoked in my soon-to-be-husband, and we made Chicago our home.
Thirty-six years later, I continue to pray for God to give me eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is doing around me each day.
Recently I have been immersed again in the Wheaton community as a parent of two alumnae and now as president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I am reminded of the richness of a liberal arts education that gives students the opportunity to engage in learning from the perspective of multiple disciplines. Borrowing the Creator’s eyes, students can understand the world through varied lenses, from sociology to math to urban studies to education. Expert and caring faculty guide students as they develop their thinking and identity in Christ, challenging them to probe and stretch, to explore “the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Wheaton’s unique community, with students hailing from all over the world and a variety of backgrounds, offers the opportunity for a fuller understanding of God’s perspective as students engage in conversation, navigating the joys and challenges of living in community.
Wheaton is a place for students to purify their glance and borrow God’s eyes, and in so doing, develop more wholly their relationship and response to an eternal and loving God. May each of us alumni, wherever our life journey has taken us, do the same.