In order to discover inner peace and peace in our world, we will need to let go of traditional understandings of pain and suffering as God's will. We will need to stop claiming that Christianity contains elite, exclusive truths. We learn here from the Jesus of the Gospel of Mark how to open our eyes and awaken to the Presence of God here and now. Gail Stearns brings insight from biblical scholars, spiritual leaders, and her own experience as a pastor and university teacher, to move us to a place where we can dwell more deeply in the present and live in a more compassionate world. ""What a read! Gail Stearns calls this 'a practical book for progressive people of faith.' It is that, and it is also a magnificent theological statement for our times. In Open Your Eyes, Stearns pares down some essentials of Christian life: living in the present, living with suffering, living in compassionate community. Her writing is clear, her faith strong, her mind sharp, and her witness to a very human and loving Jesus is as compelling as any I've come across. Best of all, she pays serious respect to other faith traditions. This is a marvelous testimony to what a compassionate, soulful, liberating Christianity can be."" —Carter Heyward Professor Emerita of Theology Episcopal Divinity School ""Our obsessions about the past and our anxiety about the future are deeply related to what Gail Stearns refers to as the crisis of soul. We are so unconvinced of our own value that we seek that value in all the wrong places. The future of creation depends upon our seeking that value within the substance of our religious traditions. This book contributes very well to that search!"" —Don Mackenzie co-author of Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and a Sheikh ""This is a courageous and thoughtful book that does not accept tradition or doctrine for its own sake. It presents a wise reading of the Gospel of Mark for our time by letting it speak to the issues raised by living in the world of the twenty-first century. Gail Stearns draws upon her extensive experience as a college chaplain and teacher in bringing the deepest meaning of Mark together with the suffering and aspirations of her audience."" —Adela Yarbro Collins Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale University Divinity School Gail J. Stearns is the Director of The Interfaith House and teaches at Washington State University. She is the author of Writing Pauline: Wisdom from a Long Life (1995).