Every morning my husband and I have our coffee at the kitchen table and share in some casual conversation which varies from day to day. It may be about past or future events, our children or grandchildren, the message the pastor preached last week, or any number of things. It’s kind of our way of waking up to the day together. A few days, ago as we sat chatting, our conversation moved to an observation my husband made outside our kitchen window.
We live in a lovely mobile home park and outside our window is a large grassy area we call the green space. On school days some of the children in the park cut across the green space to go to the bus stop. On this particular day my husband commented, “Hey, that kid is going the wrong way.” I didn’t actually see the boy but simply responded “He probably forgot something or isn’t feeling good.” We went on to other topics but after a few minutes I noticed a boy walking across the green space toward the bus stop and the conversation that followed went like this:
Me: Looking out the window, “Is that the same boy you saw earlier going in the wrong direction?”
Husband: Also looking out the window, “What boy?”
Me: Pointing in the direction of the boy, “That boy right there!”
Husband: “I don’t see anyone.”
Me: “How can you not see him, he’s right there!” (pointing out the window again)
Then getting up and going to his side of the table (to prove my point) I found that I couldn’t see the boy at first either and it finally dawned on me that we had been looking out the same window but from two different angles.
After that first cup of coffee to wake us up we are ready for our devotional time looking for some insights from God’s Word, but today it became clear that God was already speaking clearly and giving us some insight, or at least me, from this observation about angles.
Following our discussion regarding the differences in what we could see from out two different views, two lessons emerged for me.
First, God can speak to us from anyplace He wants, even in the ordinary, seemingly insignificant events of our life. Those, often obvious, things we sometimes overlook can be great teaching moments.
Second, we can only see a part of the picture and what we see depends a great deal on which angle we are looking from. We actually never really see the whole picture at once because even if it is right in front of us we must look up and down, side to side and even behind to get the whole picture. Only God, from his view, sees the whole picture including the past, present and future.
When my husband and I were sitting at opposite ends of the table our views were determined by the angle which we were looking at through the window. I couldn’t see the boy going in one direction and he couldn’t see the boy coming from a different direction. Until I went to his side of the table we were at odds with what we saw out the same window. Only when we looked out the window together, from the same vantage point could we see clearly. It was when I made the move to come along side of him that I could see his view and the conversation could continue and come to the conclusion, there was a boy. On that we could agree.
Whether strangers or friends; fellow believers or unbelievers; as God gives us opportunity we who are followers of Jesus Christ need to be the first to go to the other side of the table, walk across a room, or whatever it takes to come alongside and listen. In order to try to see from the other persons perspective we must let Christ lead us as we share His love and light from our own view, our testimony.
In our relationships with people we must remember we are all, as born again believers, in the process of getting to know God. There are some who have very obstructed views of God for various reasons related to past experiences and they may not be as far along in the process as we are. There are some who are much farther along in the process than we are as they have been changed by God in the process in such a way that they have changed position and are able to see from a new angle out of a larger window.
For those who are not yet believers, they are not only looking through a distorted angle that has been drawn by lies, but they are looking into darkness and unable to see the true light and love of Christ.
In the case of the schoolboy, the fact was that he was there. I knew he was there. But until he came into view for my husband it wasn’t a fact for him. He couldn’t see him.
Those living in darkness, not yet believers, have no point of reference, the angle of their view is distorted by the darkness. They, most of all, need someone to come to the table and let the light and love of Christ shine into their darkness so they can see God’s truths.
So, what’s your angle?
Is there someone your sitting at opposite ends of the table with, at school, at work, in the board room, or maybe at church?
The good news is that God is good and He is patient with each of us.
Scripture tells us:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9 (NIV)
“In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NIV