Looking out the side window of the car at the white winterscape around us as we drove the snow drifted road, Nancy said appreciatively “It is so beautiful! Look at how the snow lays so delicately, outlining the tree branches. It shines like diamonds in the light.” I was intently staring out the front windshield keeping a safe distance from the car ahead and keeping the tires in the ruts where we would get the best traction. Occasionally I hit the windshield washer to clear the spray so I could see the road better. I ended up muttering something like “I’m too busy driving to look at snow on tree branches.”
Here we were driving through the same space, at the same time, looking at the same scene and seeing it so differently. Nancy sees beauty and wonder in the snow flakes whether individual or billions of the piled around us in drifts. I usually see in snow a job to be done and longer less safe travel times. While she understands the need for me to snow blow the driveway, it still bothers her that our snow blower throws the snow in unsightly “plops” across the yard which destroys the natural crystalline sparkle of the fresh snow.
Nancy sees and enjoys traces of frost on the window pane – I see in them evidence of a more frigid cold, and that we will be spending more to heat the house. Our different perspectives are evident in many other ways and circumstances. Neither of us is wrong. But I envy Nancy at times – her world is less utilitarian than mine and more filled with beauty, wonder and inspiration.
I realize that we can look at our life, the world around us, and all of human history from differing perspectives While she doesn’t know it, I try on Nancy’s perspective from time to time to see how her world looks – in terms of beauty and wonder. I am not good at it – but I am getting better.
“My thoughts are not your thoughts” proclaims the prophet speaking for God. And I am sure God’s view of the world is very different from mine. What might it be like to look at the world from God’s perspective? Might those people who frustrate and annoy us look different to us? Might we see new opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives? Could we put aside some of the things we want for ourselves in order to help others get what they need?
Let’s try to see life around us through God’s eyes. If we this a little each day it will get easier, and we will be able to do it for longer periods. And from this different perspective life will take on renewed beauty and wonder once again..