Vantage Point

Empty wood table top with blur sunlight in window building

 

A few months ago, a friend stopped by my home to drop something off. As per usual, we started talking, which invariably led to us meandering from one spot to another as we chatted. After a few moments of this, she began to observe the various photos hanging from the walls. One in particular captured her attention because it represented my entire family, some of whom she had yet to meet. (I don’t have a very large immediate family.)

As we stood there looking upon it, I attempted to draw her attention to a detail that was a source of minor irritation for me every time I happened to look in its direction.

You see, the portrait is framed and then encased in glass. From where it hangs on the wall, it’s almost directly opposite a window, where sunlight streams throughout much of the day, creating a glare which prevents me from looking at the photo and clearly seeing everyone’s faces.

Over and over I pointed this detail out to my friend.  Over and over she looked at the framed photo and said, “I can see everyone just fine.”

Thinking she surely wasn’t seeing correctly, I stepped closer-which placed me directly behind her-and I pointed directly at the blind spot in the glass.

Again she said, “I can see everyone just fine, Steph.”

I just looked at her incredulous, like, really? You can’t see that big glare spot?

Then, the reason she could not see it hit me square in my head. Sort of like a “V8 moment.” So much so that I started cracking up with laughter.

She looked up at me and asked, “What’s so funny?”

Instead of answering her directly, I stooped my 5’10” frame down bit by bit until my vantage point was consistent with all of her 5 foot 4 inches.

Yep!

You guessed it. No glare.

After we stopped laughing about the silliness of it all, I was instantly struck by how this same scene plays itself out in other areas of life, specifically as it relates to simple everyday disagreements, arguments, conflicts, etc.  Y’all know what I’m talking about. You’re in a simple conversation with someone you “really care about” and the next thing you know, voices are raised and unkind words are being spoken about some truly benign thing like the right direction one should drive to arrive at a certain destination in the “right” amount of time. Blah. Blah. Blah. The list is endless and I’m sure we can all easily visualize the multiple ways these exchanges take place. I know I can and I honestly wish I could undo the majority of them.

All too often a personal perspective becomes “the right way”, “the best way”, “the most important” or “the better way.” You get the point. We major on minors, forgetting the most important thing; the MAIN THING is love, love, love!

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  2 Peter 1:5-9

Stephanie Paul

Stephanie served on staff at America’s Keswick as Women of Character Director. She is married to Sesky; together they have 2 adult children.

 

 

 

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