What Do You See?
By Dean Kelly
One of the most beautiful sights that I have ever seen occurs in the early morning hours as the sun begins to peek its head above the horizon over a body of water. As the sun begins its daily journey, it at first appears as a bright red ball in the distance. I have seen the reflection of the early morning sun grow upon the water until it fills it with the glowing red that is the herald of a wonderful day to come. That is what I see, and that is what I think as I watch this breathtaking event of the nature that God has created. However, it is interesting to note the reaction to that same phenomenon by some Moabites:
it came to pass in the morning, about the time of offering
the oblation, that, behold, there came water by the way of
The Moabites saw blood in the water, not the beauty of the sun. They saw blood because they had hearts full of blood. Blood was on their mind. They were blinded to what was truly there because their eyes were being guided by their bloodthirstiness, not by what was really there. I believe that too often we do not see what is really there, and we act in misguided ways because of it.
Sometimes a person’s vision can be impeded because of the “glass” through which he looks at the world. You’ve heard about the woman who complained about the house of the neighbor who lived behind her. She said that the house had the worst paint job and was always dirty. Then, one day, she washed her sliding glass doors, and came to realize the house back there was not so dirty, it was her windows that were so dirty that they made it look that way. When we look through the “tinted glasses” of mistrust, anger, jealousy or envy, we see only the worst. Have you ever noticed that there are those who react to even a kindness by questioning the motive of the one who acts in that manner? Some people, if you say, “You look very nice today,” don’t hear a kindness and complement. They react, “Oh, so you think I don’t usually look nice!” We need to clean our glasses, and look at the world with the attitude that a Christian should have.
If we are miserable, we tend to expect the world to be miserable. I believe the older son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son had this problem. He accused his brother of wasting his living with harlots. His brother had wasted his living, but the older brother really had no way of knowing what he was doing. I believe that he accused his brother of what he would have done if he had been given the opportunity. He did not rejoice in the recovery of his brother. He looked upon his brother with hatred—not concern.
We can also see “blood” instead of “beauty” because we cannot see the good in people. There are two possible attitudes: We look for the good and are surprised by the bad in people, or We look for the bad and are surprised by the good in people. Those who practice the one attitude are miserable people who cannot enjoy life for fear of someone treating them badly. They are wretched all the time, because they live in a world filled with distrust, anger and despair. These folks cannot forgive, because their hearts are filled with anger. They can never see the abundant beauty that surrounds them because they are overwhelmed by those things that are not good. They see “blood on the water,” not the glorious dawning of a brand new day.
What do you see? In Christ we should see the brightness of every new day. We need to be those who learn to truly love, and to look for the best in others, not the worst. Will we be disappointed? Yes, we will, from time to time. However, I believe if we will “clean our own glasses” that we will see enough good to overwhelm the bad. That will make life much happier and joyous for us.