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Mar29TueLearning to see the world through rose-coloured glasses. March 29, 2016 by Major Danielle Strickland
Today I spent time with my husband doing what we did when we first met—hanging out with homeless people. Or, as my son Judah puts it (so much better), “visiting friends, who have no homes.” One friend, Alma, was rocking rose-coloured glasses. When we asked how she was, she said life couldn't be better.
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- Opinion & Critical Thought
It was then I knew she was seeing life through a different lens than me.
During lent, I participated in a challenge (infinitumlife.com) to catch a glimpse of what it would look like to live a boundless life, characterized by surrender, generosity and mission. It made me pay attention to the way I see the world, to the way I view people. It made me wonder about my perspective, and how that perspective matters. Because how I see the world and the people in it drives my response to them—and to God.
God modelled this in the creation story (see Genesis 1:1-2:2). After each act of creation, he “saw that it was good.” And for the finale—the last act—he created humanity, male and female, in his image. He looked at all he created, and saw that it was very good. He saw. And the way he saw gave us value. It still does.
How God sees you is not dependent on the world's lens. Scripture declares (all the time) that he doesn't look at the outside. He's not looking for rich, accomplished or cool. He's also not looking for failure, flaws or imperfections. He's looking with his own way of love, looking at the value, meaning and beauty inside of you. You look amazing to him. Just as he looked at the first humans, he looks at you and says, “you are very good.”
When we present the gospel story, we often start with sin. Sin is our human capacity to mess everything up, including ourselves. But the story didn't start with sin. The story starts in Genesis 1, not Genesis 3. It starts with God seeing what he had created, and declaring it good. We were good and created for goodness. For beauty. For truth. For freedom.
And that is why, when we catch glimpses of goodness, beauty, truth or freedom, something stirs in us, in our deepest selves. It is the image of God stirring, awakening us to a new way of seeing the world, inviting us to a new perspective of ourselves and each other.
If ever I needed a reminder to put on some rose-coloured glasses, it was today. Thank you, Alma, for reminding me that life couldn't be better.
Major Danielle Strickland is the territorial social justice secretary in the U.S.A. Western Territory.