Commentaries inform us that this painting is of a grandfather and his granddaughter one early morning. It looks like the little girl is trying to row the boat and help her grandfather as they go fishing. See how hard she is concentrating on her job? She thinks she is really helping him. Where is the old man looking? Grandfather, contentedly smoking his pipe, looks at her fondly. He knows that the small strength she has in her arms isn’t really much help in rowing the boat, but he seems to be enjoying letting her try. Look at how her pockets are bulging? What do you think she is carrying in her pockets? What do you notice about the young girl’s eyes?
In the painting we see the girls pockets seem to have something heavy in them. I question myself as to what is in them. My answer…my little treasures. These are the little things that I carry with me everywhere…they are hidden…precious…as if the things a child carries to help them feel secure. As the grandfather looks down, he knows what has been carried aboard. This does not concern him because he also knows that with time, they will no longer be needed as her maturity increases. She will hand them over and let them go freely.
Studying scripture is much like looking at a painting! Many things need to be considered before getting a clear picture of the passage; but be careful, you don’t want to get a skewed perspective.
Take a look at these skewed images:
Perception within communication is very important! This past week I was making sure that the high school auditorium was available for my kindergarten musical. When the assistant principal got back with me about its availability, she said that it was already booked! For years, having experienced much trouble with double booking the stage, my initial response was negative. “Yikes, now what will we do?” was the question I emailed her. Her reply, “Sorry. I should have known better than to use passive voice! It is booked by us!” After a brief panic and a sigh of relief, I realized that my perspective on the matter was negative. I assumed that it was booked by someone other than us, not that it had been previously booked by us! Perspective! Important!
Derived from Latin, per = through and specere = to look, (through looking) we get the English word perspective.
- The Emmaus Road. It seems that I use this story frequently to illustrate points, but it is always the first that pops into my brain because it is rich with spiritual truths! The two walking had a skewed perspective of Jesus walking with them, because they had perceived him as dead. It wasn’t until He revealed Himself, at the breaking of bread, that their eyes were open. (Luke 24: 13-31)
- During the torrential storm, Peter and the other disciples thought they saw a ghost walking on the water. (Matt. 14: 22-31) Their perspective was skewed because “people don’t walk on water!” Jesus was revealed to Peter through the sound of His voice and saw him. Peter also walked on the water and went to him because he heard and recognized the voice of Jesus.
- Moses identifies God in the burning bush because God declared who He was to him. (Ex. 3: 1-5)
- Zacchaeus - Even Zacchaeus, out of curiosity, climbed a tree for a better perspective. Jesus really revealed Himself when he called out Zacaeaus’ name and then dined with him!
- Mark 8:29 and Matt. 16: 13-20 "Who do you say that I am?"
- When we read about Jesse’s sons and one is to be anointed as king, perspectives are once again skewed. How is it that a small, harp playing shepherd boy (David), could one day become king? (1 Sam.16)
1 Sam. 16:7
I wept, elated that God had revealed Himself to those young men. I wept, because I couldn’t see the wonder that God prepared for them. I wept, for myself, because I often have a tainted view of God’s best for me.
I praise God for revealing Himself to those kids, to men of the Bible, and to me. God’s perspective is perfect. He sees the whole. Our vision is dimmed, skewed, partial, and blurred. This is why it is important to ask for a clear revelation, a fresh viewpoint, and holy enlightenment. It is only when He choses to reveal Himself that He can been seen.
nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1 Corin. 2: 9,10
Go to God's word. Look at every Biblical passage as a painting with an array of many colorful details. Become familiar with the background knowledge of history, language, culture, relationships and location when and where it was written. Observe every word and phrase to glean insight. When you have done this, seek to understand how it relates to you and everyday life. Place yourself in the painting! He is a living God and His Word is living, too! Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and that you would have wisdom to understand and a perspective from Gods heart. You will be amazed at what He so desires to reveal to you. He waits for you to seek and call out. Perspective...take His! Look through His Holy Lens!
Seeking Holy Perspectives,
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