Today’s blog post is by Bernie Peterman, Business Administrator
One day, I was walking around my neighborhood – something I don’t do often because I don’t like to sweat – I started noticing people, houses etc. I found my self talk to be something like, “man is this neighborhood changing,” “Who would paint their houses that hideous blue or bright orange,” “When did THOSE people move in?”, “OMG look at that guy, I don’t think he’s showered in weeks – Gross!” Pretty negative – but that’s what my eyes saw
Then I read today’s scripture Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength.
And, I thought, “what does that mean?” So, I started wrestling with God’s words and my thoughts. I realized that these words have both external and internal meaning. Paul is praying that we see through the eyes of Christ (external) and that we then feel in our hearts (internal).
With this in mind, I walked around my neighborhood, (and, yes, sweated again). As I noticed people I saw a father and his son working on their yard together – a father teaching his son. I noticed the brightly colored houses and my self-talk was “Wow those bright colors add some liveliness to the drab beiges and grays of other houses.” I found out “Those people” moved here from a different country, worked hard to start a new life, because their country had nothing to offer. He completed college here and could finally buy his own house. I also wondered what the homeless man’s story was, “Why was he living on the streets?”
It wasn’t easy to change from looking through my jaded eyes to looking through Christ’s loving eyes. But the beauty and hope I saw was so much different than the negative and bleak I saw before. It takes God’s mighty strength and incomparably great power – namely the Holy Spirit living in us – for us to see people and situations through hope, through beauty, through the idea that we are ALL children of God. I was filled with peace and joy.
Considering the world we live in, it’s a stretch to live a positive, loving lifestyle – one where we view life from the eyes of our heart which is in Christ Jesus. It’s a daily choice that gets easier as you practice doing it. So take a walk around your neighborhood, or maybe a not so good neighborhood, and see the beauty and hope God has for all of us. You will be stretched and hopefully awed by God.