Perspective.

IMG_5968.JPGOne morning, about a week ago, Andy and I were standing in the backyard drinking our coffee as we watched the kids play in the mid-morning light.

Mornings are sacred times to me. The quietness before our day of work begins — savoring moments together as a family and sipping coffee while Andy and I share little words with one another.

Our backyard is one of my most favorite places to savor these morning-times. It’s a safe place for me — for us — fully surrounded by a tall, wooden privacy fence that turns our tiny, ever-green and usually blooming backyard into a bit of a secluded wonderland. It is the closest thing we have to feeling like we have our own little space in this world, given that we live packed tightly into a cute little neighborhood with tiny houses and tiny yards surrounded by lots of neighbors.

As Andy and I were standing outside on the deck, he glanced over his shoulder toward our neighbor’s house and noticed a tree branch bobbing about. He drew my attention to the shivering limb exclaiming there was a cat in the tree! A cat?

I looked and looked and looked, but I couldn’t see it! I could see the tree swaying in a way that told me it was more than just the early breeze causing movement, but I certainly could NOT see a cat anywhere!

Andy continued to describe the precise placement of the cat to me to help me discover it’s location — that it was right by the bird feeder hanging in the tree if I would just look then I would see it.

I felt myself beginning to grow frustrated and then increasingly moreso as I continued to look directly AT the bird feeder and still there was absolutely NO cat in sight! I knew the cat had to be there, I trusted Andy, and I could see the tree moving, I just couldn’t see the cat anywhere at all. What was I missing?

As it turns out his 8 inches-taller-than-me height made a huge difference.

Andy was able to see over the fence to a lower-hanging bird feeder that was completely out of my view. All I could see from my physical standing point was a second one that was positioned on a limb higher up… one that should have had a cat perched next to it.

As Andy and I were having this discussion about the elusive cat, it reminded me of a million times that I stubbornly refused to hop up onto a chair to fully see things from his perspective. How many times have I been the fool who “takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Prov. 18:2? And how often have I been quick to speak and become frustrated or angry before truly taking the time to listen as we are encouraged to do in James 1:19?

My answer: more times than I’d like to admit. (Andy, this is my public and semi-formal apology to you! Thank you for being patient with me!)

And then I thought about God. (Because let’s just continue to be real here while I’m exposing my shortcomings: my first thoughts aren’t always about God…)

How many times have I prayed and spouted off my opinion about life? Been displeased with my circumstances, my physical body, my gifts… and how many times have I missed the point because I refused to see things from HIS perspective?

God tells us we are:

-Valuable to Him. Luke 12:7
-His masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10
-Loved and Chosen by Him. 1 Thessalonians 1:4

So what happens if we will commit to stop what we are doing (anyone else out there complaining and being stubborn like I am?) and climb up on a chair to see things from God’s perspective — to drop to our knees and humble ourselves to see what He is doing in our lives and how He loves us? To make space to truly hear from Him.

I believe that our lives could be transformed…

 

The Prayer of St. Francis:

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

Love,
Janine