This year has been very full. Life was changing for all of us each in different ways. We all just needed a quiet do nothing vacation. Usually the mountains are calling with hikes and sight-seeing but this year we just wanted to sit and be quiet. So we picked a place that is always hot, found a fun mid-century modern home and off we went for a week of quiet rest and as happens when you rest reflection.
The first day of vacation was hot. We had been enjoying the first half of the day in or by the pool. It was nice to get this quiet time together with no obligations and nowhere we needed to be. Everyone was getting hungry so we fired up the BBQ and got some hot dogs and sausages grilled up. As we gathered around the table outside we realized there were not enough chairs for everyone. We could have gotten stools or sat on lounges nearby but for some, the dry heat was too much. Where the table sat outside there sat another table on the inside separated by a wall of glass, so the hot people went inside. In a funny way it was like we were eating together.
As we on the outside sat looking in, we noticed something, we had a choice of what we looked at. When you looked you could either see someone at the table inside or you could see the reflection of yourself. The comments going around were that it was hard to see inside because you were just seeing yourself. I wasn’t having this problem so I looked up at my reflection and the Spirit brought a profound picture to my mind. It was a life illustration I know I will never forget so I had to share it.
When we looked at the window we had a choice, we could look and see the others inside or we could be distracted by our own reflection and only see ourselves. Remember the comments were they couldn’t see the others because they could only see their own reflections.
I was struck by how true this is. How many times have I missed seeing something in someone else because I was looking at myself. For me often times it has been me obsessing about what I might have done wrong in a given situation but for others it is that they are so impressed with what they have done and still others need to be in control, they need their vision realized. No matter what perspective a person is coming from gazing at your own reflection makes you unable to see others.
Now we could spend a whole blog on how we should spend time in reflection looking at ourself and getting God’s perspective but that is not the freedom we are discussing here we are discussing how freeing it is to look away from the reflection of ourselves and truly look at others. God has us, He wants us to see the beauty He created in others.
God has spent years teaching me this lesson, starting with people who I did not necessarily agree with. He began, as I opened myself up, to show me what He created in these people who did things so differently than I did. He showed me the good in who they were and what they were doing.
It is so easy to look at the weaknesses of others and miss their strengths. Only in seeing them as God created them and intended them to be, do we have any hope of loving them the way He intended. Love cannot be manufactured that is a lie that I believe is being spread heavily right now. Put on the face of love, act loving and this will bring about change. But when it doesn’t? What then? Where does the face of love go? I am sure you have all seen it, it fades very quickly.
I am so thankful for this picture lesson God gave me in my quiet time. I am thankful for the freedom to see people as God designed them not as they present themselves or satan tries to distort them so I will look away. I am thankful to be free to love in every moment not just the ones that meet my expectations. I am thankful to be free to look away from the reflection of myself and look through the glass at the beautiful creations which God placed around me. Where are you looking today are you looking through the glass at the people God has placed in your life? Or are you looking at your own reflection?