by Sue Duby,
I fiddle with my glasses… a lot. Trying to get the view just right. Multiple wipes to get that one last smudge off the lens. Debating if it’s a “sunglass” morning or my regular glasses will do. Pondering if the occasional blurry glance means time for an upgrade. Wanting to dance when it’s perfectly clear.
But often, clarity isn’t enough. It’s HOW I see through the lens and interpret what’s on the frame. Take our recent trip to the beach.
After journeying with the rest of the planet going nowhere for months, we shouted “YES!” when invited to join family in Florida for sunshine and ocean waves. Almost there, the GPS suddenly routed us north… away from the ocean. Then, with hearts a bit saddened, we entered the condo to find zero water view, but a grand one of the parking lot! Exhausted from our long drive, we fell into bed with an “oh well!” sigh.
The next morning, I grabbed my coffee, settled into a comfy chair and exhaled. As I looked out the window, a smile erupted. Here, from our spacious top floor unit, my eyes feasted on a panoramic view of lush green tree tops. So very peaceful. Even a gigantic magnolia tree exploding with super-sized blooms reaching our 5th floor vista. I giggled to Chuck… “We’re in a treehouse!!!!”. And for the rest of our stay, that’s all I could see… and I loved the view! From discontent to gratitude. A mystery how perspective can do that. Sometimes by choice and often, by His grace in adjusting our lenses.
Online ads highlighted our unit as having a unique inside “tower”. I pictured a cozy reading nook above the clouds. Instead, a wobbly spiral staircase in the living room led to a narrow “cat walk”, with windows nearly requiring a tip toe stance to peer out. Again, disappointment and grumbling. Until… one night… a sudden explosion of “Boom!! Boom!! Crackle! Pop, pop, pop!!” with strange colored lights streaming through the windows. We all scurried up to the tower and discovered a wild, spectacular fireworks display. Just a few blocks away. Front and center view for us, far above the treetops. Magic and better than 4th of July! I smiled and nodded to myself… delighted in rediscovering the “tower of wonder”.
After sweet days of sandy feet, ocean spray, puzzles and just-like-Europe almond croissants, we pulled into our driveway. Jumping from the car, we ran to check the garden after 2 weeks away. Stepping through the backyard gate, we stopped with a joint, “Whoa!!”. Lush weeds covered every single bare spot in the landscape. Hundreds. All sizes. Days of rain made them all too joyful! We frowned. Then, looking again, we noticed the rose bushes, my cutting garden, the “where did they come from petunias” and the hydrangea trees. Huge! Supersized! Ready to burst into glory. Likely promising to be the best summer bounty ever! And a few hours of weed plucking easily cleared the scene.
A few days later, I caught Chuck shaking his head, while investigating leaves on a favorite flowering shrub. “I just got those aphids under control and now this!”… pointing to a host of wiggly black insects. Too tired for another bug battle, he walked away. The next morning, I heard a shout… “Come here! You won’t believe it!”. In place of those critters sat fuzzy orange and black caterpillar-like creatures. A quick online check confirmed it. Lady bug larvae! We love those guys… and so does our garden. Now we’re hoping for an army of black critters!
Perspective changes things. “A glass through which objects are viewed”. “The capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance”. I know on my own, my vision stays a bit foggy. “Seeing” clearly so often gets colored by my emotions, my mood, my limited understanding and wisdom, my frame of reference. Sometimes I’m stuck… unable to adjust my lenses. Locked into my way of seeing. At times, not willing to even consider there might be another view. Often, unaware that another view awaits, just ready to be noticed.
I want to be poised and ready… always… to have Him adjust my lenses. To show me what He sees. Not so much “WHAT do You want me to see?”, but “HOW do you want me to see what is in front of me Lord?” Discovering fresh views that change my heart and open a wellspring of gratitude.
How do you see, Lord? May my eyes view each moment through Your lens… seeing what You see… with hope, clarity, promise and a grateful heart.
Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law. Ps 118:19 NIV
He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” John 9:11 NIV
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— I Cor 2:9 NIV
Feature photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash.
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