Counter-clockwise View

Changing of Perspective

At work (unless its raining) I love to walk a small circular path next to the lake outside my building. It is a pleasant and beautiful scene, accompanied by birds singing melodies,  frogs bellowing messages, and the geese gliding effortlessly across the water. And, on most days there is a warm breeze blowing to make the walk even more wonderful.  It truly is a peaceful, and lovely place to get in a little exercise. A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a fast-paced jaunt around this little circle when I decided to switch it up a bit and take 3 counter-clockwise loops. It was on my first  time around when the view made me pause and take in the beauty. You see, the scene traveling clockwise, while lovely, was very different from the one which arrested me mid-walk. I could hear Holy Spirit’s whisper in my soul – “Sometimes, you need to see things from a different angle Tonya, to get the better view.”

The presence of Jesus captured me in those moments.

The past month has been one sprinkled with uncertainty, fear and grief, yet  mixed with joy, and excitement. To say it has been a little odd would be an understatement. I have heard before, every new beginning starts with an ending.

Goodbyes are simply a part of moving into something new. I have felt those goodbyes down deep in a place only Jesus has access to. I am forever grateful His scars know how to heal.

The simplicity of choosing to switch up my routine walk led to a powerful moment of healing. God lovingly cupped my face in His hands, and turned my eyes to see things a bit differently. Instead of being disappointed in me for grieving the goodbyes I had said, He allowed me to see loving freely makes you vulnerable and open to making life-long connections. Those kind of goodbyes are hard.

Just ask the disciples.

Just ask anyone who has ever loved deeply.

It is ok to grieve forlorn farewells and greet happy hellos at the same time.

The change in view led me to see how life is full of sorrow and beauty – often at the same time. It is what makes life the journey it is. Jesus took a different approach to culture and religion, and He often took a route the disciples did not understand. After taking my counter-clockwise walk, I have thought about this a lot. I believe Christ wanted them to see things from a different perspective, to see life from His point of view.

The Craftsman who built with His hands was the Chief Cornerstone the builders rejected . The King born in stable, without an earthly throne, is the King of all Kings. The Healer who could raise the dead to life is the Physician who heals with nail-scarred hands. Yes, His truth is the wildly wonderful lens I want to view my life through.

It would be a tragedy to believe our lives could never be a mix of good and bad, ugly and beautiful, confidence and uncertainty or sorrow and rejoicing – often in concert with each other.

To try and not experience it fully because it feels odd, or seems way too hard, is to slight ourselves of the gorgeous blessings of a counter-clockwise view.

 

Simple Sunrises – Perfect Vision

Perfect Vision

Have you ever wondered why some days seem extra-ordinary and some just seem a little less? I have. Yet, the more I age, the more I seem to long for those days which are, to others, a little less grand. I don’t think I realized my need for ordinary until I watched a sunrise that was not colored with hues of majestic proportions. I had never noticed how wonderfully comforting it could be to experience a sky filled with the simplicity of basic colors – and fewer strokes from the Master’s paintbrush.

So often I stumble when I allow my heart to tread the waters of “less than” because the world tells me to be special means we must live a life filled with only majestic sunrises and sunsets. To take the most beautiful snapshots and display them for everyone to “ooh” and “ahh” over seems to be the #goal. And, I am not only speaking of the physical photographs, but I am also talking about our lives and how we live them out before one another. It is our natural desire to be noticed, to be validated by others.

But what about the subtle colors we may quietly illustrate with? The lovely strokes of kindness, meekness, gentleness, self-control, joy, love, peace – all painting the way we react, the way we move. These are the simple, yet glorious, pigments that color our lives into the beauty God longs to see.

I believe we have things a little mixed up. Most definitely, God is grand, and His beauty is most assuredly more wonderful than our human eyes or hearts can comprehend. Nevertheless, we do not have to be living lives of extraordinary proportions for Him to view us as beautiful, for He already sees us that way – from the moment we begin to grow in the womb.

It is when we reach the place in our lives where Jesus is our portion, our Redeemer, that God sees us as Holy, for then when He looks upon us, He sees His Son’s righteousness shed over our humanity. Now, that is spectacular!

Our Creator’s eyes roam all over this earth, seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose lives are painting even the most elementary of portraits for Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9) So, the next time I see the subtlest of sunrises or simplest of sunsets, I pray He reminds me the beauty of the ordinary is glorious to Him. What a gift it is to trust He sees me with perfect vision and knows my heart.