by Christine Sine
By the simple act of altering the position of one’s head a different kind of world may appear
(Robert Macfarlane Landmarks 241)
Some of you may remember that at the beginning of this year I decided to call this “A Year of Seeing Differently. I had no idea how true this would be or how much of an impact this concept would have on me. “Read life differently” has become so important to me over the last few months that we have decided to make it the Godspace theme for this post Pentecost season and it is quotes like this one above that are helping to move me in the right direction.
I have had fun over the last few weeks looking in different ways at all kinds of things from leaves to scenery to give me that different perspective I often need that is little more than a tilt of my head away.
Of course I could try standing on my head, lying on the ground or looking through the lens of a camera, or looking through my fingers or even just moving around a tree. All of these actions give me a different perspective, an important perspective that when combined together slowly give me a full understanding of what I am looking at. Just as the different perspectives I suggested yesterday give me a better understanding of who Jesus is.
Yes you are right, yesterday’s Pentecost sermon was part of the fruit of this reflection though I have not tried standing on my head yet to get a different perspective of Jesus!
As I look ahead there are a lot of questions revolving in my mind that I am hoping will give me different perspectives without needing to stand on my head.
Here are a few of my initial thoughts:
What if I rethink who I am not in terms of what Christ has done for me, but in terms of what Christ wants to do through me for others?
What if I read life:
through the lens of laughter and fun?
through the filter of joy and peace?
through the framework of gratitude and thankfulness?
these are the questions that will I think shape my posts and my thinking:
As the seasons change what do I need to let go of in order to fully enter the richness of this new season?
As I look at our world, what language do I need to change to become a better steward?
As I think about my faith what perceptions and understandings need to change in order embrace that which I normally exclude?
And with all these questions revolving in my mind it is not surprising that my initial thoughts have turned to poetry, that fertile ground of exploration and expression for me.
Read life differently
Read with love and not with hate
with compassion and not with judgment
with generosity and not with scarcity.
See your cup
not half full
not half empty
but overflowing with goodness and light and life.
Read life differently
look for the wonder of uniqueness
not the exclusion of sameness
Embrace don’t reject
Forgive don’t condemn
Seek the Son of God
work diligently to know
he who is the way, the truth, the life
follow his footsteps
in the way that leads to eternal life
Thank you for this Christine! II am encouraged this Monday morning to live open-heartedly, without fear.
Deborah that seems like a great place to be in
Thank you, Christine. I love these inspirational thoughts and reflective poetry. And the fact that your latest book has finally been shipped out to me in the UK! I am saving it as a birthday gift to myself to savour when summer’s splendour leaves these shores and I will be ready to embrace a fresh state of wonder once more! <3
Thank you Joy and I am glad that the book has finally arrived. Someone else told me that mid June was the release date in the UK and I am not sure why it has taken so long. I hope you feel it was worth the wait.
It has certainly built up anticipation, Christine. I’m looking forward to reading it! ?❤
Yes! While we should be grateful for what Christ has done for us, where we go in life is about what Christ wants to do through us for the world. This perspective helps to untangle our personal agendas from our faith – I can still do all kinds of selfish things if I simply look at what Christ has done for me. But when I begin to see my path forward through the lens of Christ’s love for my neighbor flowing through me, my entire motivation shifts. I think this is also true of how we frame salvation. When it’s all about my personal salvation my mind is too easily co-opted by self-serving perspectives of what salvation means. When my perspective changes from “What have I received?” to “What has Jesus actually offered?” I realize that Jesus “gave himself for the life of the world” – my selfish salvation can’t begin to comprehend how expansive that statement truly is!
Amen and Amen
Thank you Christine. I find so much to connect with in your reflections. I have often shared your prayers with those in need. Your book arrived on June 10th. Unfortunately I am away on my narrow boat until September so I wait with eager anticipation to receive its joys.
So glad it has finally arrived and I hope it will be a great refreshment after your adventures. Being away on a narrow boat sounds like a lot of fun.