Sunday, October 5, 2008

Because Our Vision Is Too Small -- Hope Chronicles 69

One thing about working in a bookstore is noticing what people buy or the books left behind on the table in the cafe. It says a lot about what is going on in their lives. One night a woman called and wanted a specific book on getting through chemotherapy. The other night I found a slew of books about Lupus in a pile by a chair. Those are the sad ones. Then there are the books about languages or antiques or dogs or whatever. But those first ones are the ones that always get to me and make me stop and say a prayer for them or whomever they know going through those things.

Several weeks ago, I was cashiering and a woman came up with about 15 magazines. I commented on the number of magazines and said lightly, "But no books."

"No," she said, "I can't buy books."

I was still ringing but asked, "You can't buy books?"

"My eye sight isn't what it should be. I love to read though."
Trying to be helpful, I stated that we had large print books. She explained that those were worse than regular print books. Her vision was narrowing so she could only see parts of words and with larger print she could sometimes only see part of a letter or two. As a result, she didn't have the stamina to read a book but could manage to decipher a magazine article.

Though she didn't know it, I prayed for her -- that God would miraculously intervene and give her back her sight.

In trying to imagine what this might be like for her, I put together the following series of photographs. What letter is this? Part of an I or P or H or F or T? It could be any number of letters.

Does this make it much easier? Can you decipher it now? What do you think? A or H or F or P or an upside down L?

With the entire form, you can figure this letter out. But isn't it hard to do with just a bit?

But what letter comes next? What word do those letters make?

Over and over she must make out the letters than words. Yes, we all do that to an extent, but we have all the letters at once to help us make sense of it.

It got me thinking about my life. I look at it like the woman trying to decipher the events of my life like she deciphers the letters of the words. I see bits here or there -- a straight line the start of a curve, but I have no idea of what the whole is.

But God does. He has looked at my life and known the words woven into the fabric of it. He looks at my life from the time He knit me together in my mother's womb to when He will call me home.

There is an old bit of a poem that speaks to it. I do not know the author or even most of it, but it talks about our lives being a weaving and that we see the underside while God sees the top. The dark colors are as necessary to the pattern as the light.

Ulitmately, God knows what is written on my life -- Jesus' blood shed for me at the cross and because of that this word marks my life:

He has loosed the chains and set me free. Though I may not see all the in and out pieces, I can trust that He sees the whole. Though my life looks very little like I ever dreamed of, there is hope in knowing that He sees the upper side while I see the under. He has FREED me from the enemy and I am His.

Perhaps when things don't go the way I think they should on a day to day or year to year basis, I should remember my vision is short. Even what I see of God is only a glimpse. My small vision is the only limit on a very big God. Since He sees the upper side, perhaps I should follow even when I long to know the path, even when there are valleys, even when there are sorrows.

There is hope in knowing that we only see a bit of what God is doing in our lives, we only have a glimpse of Him. But if your glimpse of Him delights you, what awe will there be when we meet Him face to face.

There is hope in knowing the one with big vision, who sees the upper side.



Melissa said...

Hey Amy! Your post was so beautiful and thought provoking. Our vision is so small. I think it's really cool how God impressed this on you due to one of your customers. You are insightful.

Thank you so much for calling the other day. I was a bit out of it and I apologize for that. This past week has been a blur.

Thanks for your prayers, I am still praying for you too.

Love you,

Karyn said...

Thanks for posting this. It's a great reminder for all Christians who are living out a genuine faith. Karyn

Joyful said...

Amy, was the poem, "The Weaver", by B.M. Franklin?

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

Praying for a greater vision,

Amy L Brooke said...

Wow Joy. You are brilliant. That was exactly the poem I was thinking of.

Hmm. With me working on a book on hope, I may need you to research quotes for me!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Great thoughts Amy. You drew me in with the illustration. I'm so glad that God has the full picture in mind. Oh for eyes to see!