Maybe it's because I got new glasses and I've also been wearing my contacts lately -- but I find myself thinking a lot about vision these days.
No, really -- it has nothing to do with glasses or contacts -- but I truly have been thinking about how we see things -- and our responses to what we see.
I know people like Kat from Inspired to Action, Lindsay of Passionate Homemaking, and Emily of chatting at the sky have influenced my thinking this week as they've blogged about their Compassion International experiences in the Philippines. (I was already followers of these ladies' blogs, so that's why I mention them specifically, though there are other bloggers who went as well. I have yet to read their perspectives, though I look forward to doing so.) Emily herself talked about vowing to "leap into the story, eyes wide open" -- and when she kept her promise, she was surprised to see Hope -- everywhere. She feared she would only see brokenness and need; instead she saw people being released from poverty. Their poverty did not go away -- but they were released from its power over their lives and futures. I believe she started to get a glimpse of how the Creator envisions an abundant life in the absence of worldly abundance -- even in the presence of abject poverty. It really is a different way of seeing life.
I also found myself listening to Brian Doerksen's "Broken and Beautiful" this week. Just the title suggests an unusual way of looking at things, doesn't it? We don't usually associate brokenness with beauty, and yet often it is that brokenness that brings about wholeness when we truly give thanks for the broken bits, as Ann Voskamp points out. The broken beauty of the cross demonstrates the Creator's vision; He sees things differently than we are inclined to do, wouldn't you say?
And so I find myself wondering how I can make myself more open to viewing the world with the vision of the Creator -- how I can find hope in the horrible and beauty in the brokenness of my own life experiences. Essentially, it'a a question of being better at abiding in Christ.
I can, for example, change my view of my children's negative behaviour. When one of my littles has a fit (and trust me -- they can get ugly), I have a choice: I can lament my poor parenting that would bring me to such a sorry state of affairs (and that, of course, is what Satan and his minions would have me do); or I can recognize the spiritual battle that is going on in my own child's heart and rejoice in the fact that the fallen angel might be desperately trying to claim that child's life (a sign of the fruit that he sees!) -- but Christ has already won the battle. I can see that fit as a sign of Satan's desperate attempt to steal a soul, and steal my joy -- and I can rest in John 10:10:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.And suddenly -- that fit becomes a good sign rather than a bad sign! It signifies that Satan feels threatened by my child's spiritual growth, and is fighting extra hard to make us all miserable. But he can only do so if we allow him that power. We already have the victory in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57) -- we just need to claim it. That, I think, is the power of the Creator's vision -- to see the beauty in the brokenness, and the hope in the horrid.
As I wonder how to end this post, my eyes glance at my open bible and land on this verse: "Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" (John 10:21) Indeed it can't! But Jesus sure can! My prayer is that He will open my eyes and enable me to have the Creator's vision -- and thus enable me to live life more abundantly!
What about you -- are there areas in your life that you know could benefit from having your eyes opened so that you could see as the Creator sees? Do you need the vision of the Creator to free you to live more abundantly?