Seeing Both Sides

We see better when we see things through the eyes of Christ.

Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual discerns all things… – 1 Corinthians 2, WEBBE

Quite often we see only a narrow perspective of life.

Some may see only the bright side of it. They see rainbows and princes and unicorns. They see a fairytale where good things always happen to good people and bad people always get the punishment they deserve.

Some on the other hand see the pain and suffering of this life. They see darkness and lack of a clear path to take. They see a world where the good suffers and the bad triumphs and where there is no happily-ever-after to look forward to.

None of these however reflect a complete picture of life. To see the whole, we must learn to look using God’s perspective.

Try to see the life of Jesus. It certainly wasn’t a life exempt from hunger or pain or even death. Yet it wasn’t a life of complete loss either. It was a life where the sick can be healed, where the hungry can be fed, where even the dead can rise again!

The Simple Life

When we have God, even a simple life becomes a blessed life.

And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. – Luke 2, WEBBE

Whenever we get bored or doubt the value of a simple life, let’s remember Mary’s hidden and simple but truly blessed and meaningful life.

All that mattered was that she had Jesus for Jesus is everything.

We too, in whatever state of life we may be can live simple yet blessed lives because we too, can have Jesus.

When I picture the Holy Family, the thought that does me most good is— the simplicity of their home-life. Our Lady and St. Joseph were well aware that Jesus was God, while at the same time great wonders were hidden from them, and— like us— they lived by faith. – St. Therese of Lisieux

When I Look At You

The most degraded man on the face of the earth is precious, and Christ died for him. That poor soul may have made a wrong choice, but that is not for us to decide. While he has life, he has hope. He might not seem lovable to us, but he is loved by God. – Fulton Sheen

Think not that when I look at you, I look only at your faults. That all I see are the rough edges and the shadows surrounding you. Think not that as I gaze upon you, I have come only to measure you, to find only what is lacking in you.

No, this is not how I look at you. For though I see all this darkness, all this brokenness and pain, all these things could never turn me away.

On the other hand, I have come to share your sufferings, to taste your tears, even to dwell upon your wounds. And there, where all is bitterness, I live, and I love.

I take your every weakness upon me, I claim all of them as mine. For you are mine. You are my beloved. And if you are willing, you can rest your broken heart upon Mine.

And I shall look at you as I look upon my own wounded heart. Pierced and crushed, yet overflowing with compassion. Knowing both sorrow and joy. Beating as one with love!

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
and saves those who have a crushed spirit.
-Psalm 34, WEBBE

To Love As God Loves

“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things….In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.” – Corrie ten Boom, Hiding Place

I have realized that unless I know how Jesus loves me, I wouldn’t know how to obey Him when He said, “Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.”

My first task therefore is to know as much and as deeply as possible how much Jesus loves me. Because if I get it wrong, I won’t be able to love others right.

And looking back, I know I often got it wrong.

I have often thought that Jesus loves me only when I’m good. That Jesus can only love me perfectly when I am also perfect myself.

I’ve been afraid of Him, of His justice, as though He has only allotted a fixed number of times for His forgiveness.

I thought Him to be always stern and serious, like He could never even smile.

Yet the truth is that His mercy is infinite. And He gave His life for me long before I ever knew Him! The truth is that He is humble and He welcomes even a little child.

He knows me even more than I could possibly know myself. He knows how weak I am, and that is why He can be gentle and so patient with me.

He knows my fears. He knows all my wounds.

He is not among those who will rejoice when I hurt, who will scold me as I trip and fall. For He is the Friend who has compassion for me, who lifts me up and carries me upon His arms.

He wants me to be happy, truly and endlessly happy. He wants to shower me with His love!

John 13:34 (WEB) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.

John 15:12-13 (WEB) This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Be Made New

We can look at the same painting twice and see very different things. Not because the painting has changed, but because we ourselves have. – Jocelyn Soriano

It’s a bit scary to reveal ourselves too much to other people, to share what it is that makes us laugh, what makes us cry, the things we like or not like at all. It’s scary because after revealing these things, we may be judged by them, and the judgement could hurt because we have been criticized just where we are most naked and vulnerable. Furthermore, the judgement could persist even if we have already outgrown such things or made a different path. People’s opinion of us can be stuck even if we have already changed.

Despite that however, let us remain confident with our own path of growth. Let us not be confined to other people’s idea of us, but continue to be ourselves, even if we have not remained as the kind of person they expected us to be.

“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelations 21, WEBBE