As I was getting ready for work one day last week, I glanced at the screenshot on my phone and I heard, ‘things aren’t always as they seem’. I knew exactly what it meant! For days that phrase haunted me and as I pondered it, I knew it was meant to be my next blog.
You see, it’s kind of like this amazing picture I found online to go with this. Initially you might see two old people or a candle holder. If you look closer, you see the faces are 2 more people – one playing a guitar and one holding his hat or something on his head. On the right ear there is a person in a doorway or the earing on the left is a tower-like structure. Look closer, is there anything else you see?
A few years ago Dan and I went to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts. When we first walked through, we looked at all the paintings and thought, ‘those are nice’. Then we decided to take a tour with the tour guide and as we went through, he pointed out what the artist was thinking when they made the picture. He then pointed out things in the picture that we hadn’t seen before – like the person in an upstairs window, the person in the shadow, etc. etc.
At the time I remember this light bulb going off in my head! It was a lot like God’s word! When we first see, hear it – it appears one way. Maybe we feel judged, condemned? But then, when we hear about the author or the writer of the particular book, we get a closer look. We see of God’s great love for us. It’s kind of like when you tell your child not to touch a hot stove because you love them. You know when they touch it, they will burn themselves but they just think you’re trying to keep them from something they think they want. So much of the bible is like this picture and that hot stove and like life itself!
In any case, back to the picture on my screenshot that morning as I was getting ready for work. If you were to look at it, you would see this cute little boy. You might think I was a proud grandmother (which I am, by the way, of all 4 of my grandkids!). You might think this one was my ‘favorite’ or something if you didn’t know me, or even if you did know me. You might say, why doesn’t she have a picture of…. the other 3 grandchildren? My kids? My honey? Etc.… Very few would know the real reason I put this picture on my phone. This picture is to daily remind me to pray for this little guy who is in North Carolina and to pray for his parents who are divorced. There are many other concerns I have that this picture reminds me of – some are selfish, like I don’t see him enough; others purely for his sake, like God would keep him and his parents as they journey their separate ways and that God would bring a reconciliation of sorts, even if it’s just to be civil for their child’s sake.
How many things in your life are like that? Where things seemed like they were one way but in all honesty they were totally another and you were misjudged? Can you keep your heart pure in it and let God avenge you or do you lash out in your own revenge? I think of so many bible characters that went through ‘stuff’ and though the enemy meant it for bad, God turned it for good when they kept their eyes on Him.
But how about naturally when this happens? What if it were the other way around? So many scenarios come to mind as I write this, way too many to write but I have a feeling as you’re reading this – there’s that one thing that you say ‘yup, I know what you’re talking about…..’ or…. ‘but you don’t understand what happened to me’…. And you’re right, I don’t! If I could stir anything up as I write this, it would be that in this year of 2016, why not give people the benefit of the doubt? Rather than always looking for the worse, or expecting the worse, why not look for the best and expect the best? What if, like this picture, it’s not as it first appears but there’s something more? Ask God for His love and the grace and mercy to see the more and walk alongside that person beside you and draw out the best in them – you might be surprised at what you see because ‘things aren’t always as they seem’!
1.Picture taken from http://flypapermagazine.com/thing-arent-always-what-they-seem/