On a recent hot, sunny afternoon, Pam and I stood on the edge of acres of sunflowers. It was a beautiful setting. Sunflowers in bloom for as far as we could see. There were many people meandering all throughout the fields of yellow. Many, like us, were there to see the beauty.
God must have had a lot of fun on His sketchpad as He designed and created the myriad flowers that clothe our globe. Pam paused to take a picture for a young couple. They were there with their newborn and relishing the Kodak picture spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if the picture becomes this year’s Christmas card for this happy, young family. Teenage girls gathered, as friends, for pictures. Family clans roamed to find just the right spot for a family portrait. Others seemed to just enjoy a hike among the beauty. And yes – my bride made the garden all the more stunning and we got some nice memories as well.
But there was something else. It felt as though we were walking on sacred ground. You see this place is called Maria’s Field of Hope in Avon, OH. Maria died of cancer as a young child. This place, in her honor, is designed to raise awareness and research money for childhood cancer. Throughout the fields, people had attached memorial notes regarding young ones who passed away all too soon or prayers for those still in the fight.
So walking among the beauty of the sunflowers and mingling with the laughs of families frolicking in the sun while getting keepsake pictures are people with heavy hearts and sad days, people looking for some healing, some peace, some help, some hope. Same setting; very different perspective. I was humbled to be there and felt a solemn cloud surround. I need to remember that my perspective is not always everyone else’s. As a matter of fact it never is. I want the Lord to allow me to see His perspective and to be understanding of other people’s viewpoints on life. Some thoughts on perspective for you and me to remember:
What seems to be the painful end of a story may just be the transition to a marvelous new chapter.
Perspectives often are like emotions. It is not so much that they are right or wrong; it is just that they are real. The better we can understand how someone came to have a certain perspective the better we will be able to walk the journey of life with them.
Weeping may last for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5
Every perspective has a story. Ask questions. Listen intently to people’s stories. Their stories reveal who they are, where they were, and what they have become.
Understanding someone else’s perspective may well earn you the privilege (not the right) to share your own.
Assuming and insisting that your perspective is fully and completely right is ultimately a posture of arrogance and a sure way to set the table for some humble pie.
Remember that circumstances and perspective are not one and the same. The sunny circumstance of beautifully blooming flowers may be the blanket around a deeply grieving heart. The reverse can be all too true as well.
Time has an intriguing impact on perspective. Think about the early disciples. Their perspective on things the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested would have gotten only worse and more despondent as they saw their Lord marched off to Golgotha. The perspective of the cross would have been much, much different on that Friday night as a stone was rolled in front of a tomb, than it was on Sunday afternoon as word of a resurrection began to spread. It would have morphed even more as they witnessed the ascension and later received the fullness of the Spirit in the upper room at Pentecost.
Lord give us Your eyes to see!