Ask any photographer how they captured a great shot, and you will likely get a variety of answers that will always include something about lighting and a specific lens they used. Even amateur folks know the difference a great lens can bring to their favorite family gathering shot or a vacation sight they wanted to catch in just the way they saw it.
I might fall into that latter category and could not have been more excited when my husband blessed me with a gift of a great lens that included a stabilizer to reduce the likelihood of a less steady moment when trying to capture a shot. I have a number of other lenses but this one is the only one I use due to its quality and varying photo lengths that can be achieved all with this one single lens. Even though usually I grab a pic with my phone camera, nothing compares with my digital SLR and this lens. The photographer can have a “good eye”, but the lens will make him or her look even better.
The challenge for us in using a camera lens is when we sometimes want to capture the whole of what we see with our eye. No matter how good the camera lens and what wide angle shot you use, the human eye is a creation by God that is unsurpassed. Even so we can often miss a lot with our tendency to so often over focus on one thing or be distracted.
We live at a time when we are blessed to have the latest technology to provide us with glasses, contact lenses or even surgery to help us see better than generations before us could enjoy and yet we still can miss a lot or miss key elements of something or someone. We are not even always aware of that or how it can influence our understanding or biases.
We are impacted a lot when we are driving and have obstructions to seeing clearly when it is raining, foggy, sleeting, or snowing. Then we are without doubt aware that we cannot see everything that is there for us to be aware of or see more than most other times.
How often are we aware when we read a book, article, or news report that we are likely not seeing the whole picture or the complete person? Maybe we assert we know that and yet tend to not check for what is missing in our understanding. That happens more now than at any time in history when information comes at us quickly from so many sources without a thought to check on how complete or accurate it is.
I am not so sure it doesn’t happen in our spiritual life as well when the Bible becomes something we study without a bigger sense of the whole story or a broader view of Christ.
“There are tendencies within us and forces outside us that relentlessly reduce God to a checklist of explanations, or a handbook of moral precepts, or an economic arrangement, or a political expediency, or a pleasure boat. God is reduced to what can be measured, used, weighed, gathered, controlled, or felt.”Eugene Peterson in Reversed Thunder
I know. It isn’t generally our intent, but it can happen easily for us all. Sometimes it is because our Bible reading is sort of grab bag where we read a devotional, pick a reading plan, or go through certain portions of the “Word” that we are especially drawn to. That isn’t a bad thing at all because it hopefully represents a respect for the word of God.
Sometimes we are diligent to try to delve more deeply into scripture. so we take classes or buy commentaries and a variety of different translations to open up the passages we read to a fuller view and understanding. We are sincere in wanting to know more but here is the key noted in the quote below:
“God’s gracious purpose in giving us his word in written form is not to turn us into Bible students, but to provide a means by which we can hear him speak and be turned into Christians – awed worshippers, sacrificing sufferers, devout followers.”Eugene Peterson in Reversed Thunder
To do that means we discover Jesus not only in the Gospels that we love but we also discover Him in Genesis through Revelation and all the places in between. Without that lens we will tend to miss that He is the centerpiece of the story. We will see Him only as the shepherd, the miracle worker, or the One who is hanging on the cross bleeding and dying for us. That will limit our vision of Him, our understanding of Him, and ultimately our relationship with Him that grows unwavering faith and trust.
6 thoughts on “What Lens Are You Using?”
Sometimes I rely so heavily on commentaries or notes and don’t quiet my soul to hear and see what God has for me when reading scripture. I love the quotes you used, and your words were spot on. Thank you for sharing with us at Grace and Truth Link-Up.
Quieting our own soul to hear Him above all is something the enemy of our souls (HIS enemy) does not wish for us so there can be all kinds of interference (even from good things) so we miss the very best of Him! Thanks for your transparency. We all can face this challenge and the longer we walk with Him, the more we can succumb to it at times.💕
Pam, I think of the mirrors at the fair that would distorted how you looked. We can see God through such a lens. Great warning!
Great example! They can indeed, Deb!⚓️
That last quote from Eugene Peterson is very sobering Pam! Especially,
“God’s gracious purpose in giving us his word in written form is…to provide a means by which we can hear him speak…” Very poignant indeed!
Eugene Peterson’s book and words have provoked me to much deeper thinking and reflecting of late. Thank you!
In his grace,