The other day my mom-in-law said that she wished that some folks could see through the eyes of others, walk in their shoes a bit, before making judgements. Today, I listened to the audio testimony of an
old (well…he is getting up there, but maybe I shouldn’t refer to him as old) long-time friend. As I listened I got a little chill. Though I had heard quite a bit of his story before, he explained some of his thoughts and subsequent actions during the time that he and I mostly hung out and I began to see some things from that time in a whole new light.
In truth some things are right and some are wrong. We have every right to (as Christ did while clearing the temple) take strong action when we see a wrong being done. And every right to judge it as wrong. What we are not allowed to judge is someone’s heart. And that is one part of what was revealed to me today. As Proverbs 20:5 points out, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters…” A saying I have recently come across time and time again is that “perception is reality.” Which I take to mean that we all come to the things around us with a unique perspective based upon our own experiences – a collection of experiences which absolutely no one else on this earth has had. So, there will never be any two people that will ever completely 100% agree on how the world works. We all see the world through our own uniquely colored glasses and there is no other way for us to see. We may sometimes (as I did today) have a bit of another person’s color revealed to us and through that gain a bit of understanding, but when it comes right down to it, as another friend used to say all the time “you know what you know.” And whatever you know informs your view of the world time after time.
Another place to which my thoughts traveled today had to do with why our family chooses to ‘do church’ in the way that we do. I use the term ‘do church’ loosely. In much the same way that our family uses the phrase ‘do school,’ We don’t really ‘do’ either. Instead of doing church we gather with like minded people to be the church. One of the main things that I appreciate about our group is that the oldest gather with the youngest. One thing that struck me today as I listened to my friend’s testimony is that during the time that his life and my own mostly intersected he was going through some majorly life-altering things and yet, at a very young age, he had been placed in a position of authority over a group of equally young people. In that group some of us led small groups, some of us led bigger groups…but in the end we were like the blind leading the blind. I believe that most of us had good intentions and that most of us had a genuine relationship with God. But, I also believe that we could certainly have benefited from some help and wisdom from some older and wiser souls on a much more regular basis.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I know a whole lot more now in my 31 year old self than I did as my 18 year old self when I joined above mentioned group. But at least I understand now that there is a lot that I don’t know. My 18 year old self pretty well thought she had a lot of stuff figured out. In passages like Joel 1:2-3, Deuteronomy 32:7 and Titus 2:2-3 we see that the elderly among us are a good source of wisdom and knowledge. But, the great thing about all ages mixing is that sometimes the thoughts and ideas of the young and the way in which they see the world has much to teach us older (wink, wink), more jaded folk. Paul even exhorted Timothy in his role as an overseer to not allow anyone to look down on him because of his age.
So what am I trying to say? Just that God, as He always does, used a couple of unrelated incidents to reveal something new to me today as well as to once again confirm for me that our family is walking according to the way that we know He has called us. God is so amazingly faithful to reveal those things we need to know at the moment we need to know them and to walk alongside us every step of the way.