So much of our life is colored by what we see. Despite our wondrous gift of sight, it can be so easy to forget that we miss a great deal. We sometimes miss it because we aren’t looking. We also can miss it because we look through lenses impacted by our lived experiences, our beliefs, and our values.
I think the Lord recently used two different experiences to remind me to look beyond or look again at what I am seeing or think I see.
The first of these was a short course on photography. Those of you who follow me or read many of my posts know that I enjoy and delight in taking photos that capture something in a way that gives us glimpses of more than we might have seen. I want to give us “a new lens” by both photos and words. Most of the photos I take with my digital SLR camera catch the images through the camera’s automatic settings of the scene I sense and want to share. My professional and ministry life before recent retirement never seemed to have room to take a few classes to see what else the camera could do.
My four photography classes exposed me to what seemed like a foreign language, but I have begun to see a little more of what the camera can do and in some of the posts ahead and even a few behind, you might notice subtle differences. One thing the instructor said really stood out. He asked us, “How many of you look at the photo you took and are disappointed because it was not what you thought you saw through the lens at all?”
I certainly have had that happen and most people have. There are many reasons for that, but there is one thing that is key to remember when we put the camera to our eye whether it is a great digital SLR or the latest iPhoto camera.
Our eyes see three dimensionally, but the camera doesn’t.
The knowledge of that one thing can begin to alter when you click to take a picture and what you try to capture.
The second experience happened at a theater presentation presented in 1,000 theaters across the United States to encourage Christians to vote in this general election. The organization that sponsored it (#MyFaithVotes) did not talk about any specific candidate or position, but called Christians everywhere to first of all pray, then think, and then vote. It was a great time of worship and prayer with Miss Clara from The War Room closing the prayer time asking God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors.
At the close of the evening, a picture of the map of the country came on the screen, one taken from space at night. It was, of course, dark, but then a small light came on to mark each city where another theater was praying. They came on one at a time and suddenly the map and the perspective changed when we saw ourselves as His children, shining forth His light, interceding for this nation according to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
That pictorial presentation reminded everyone that we are not alone and even small lights scattered over an expanse of darkness can make a great difference.
No matter where we live in the world, much darkness seems to be afoot. The shadows that would try to overtake us also seem to be steadily bringing about division, not only in our society but also within the body of Christ. The latter is the more dangerous response to evil in our time.
I think it can be far too easy to lose track of the big picture or the view from the helicopter, but it is also key that we look more closely and zoom in to be sure of what we are looking at.
We need to be able to discern the difference between what is wise, what is foolish, and what is evil. Such discernment will point the way to our response.
You may be thinking you don’t have the gift of discernment or it can be very hard for you to discern such things, but as daughters and sons of God when Jesus lives in us He is able to lead and guide us with the light that only He brings to our lives and this world.
In my next post, I will give you some tips on how to differentiate some of the differences between wise, foolish, and evil.