Glasses. We put them on to see better. We wear them to protect our eyes from the sun’s vibrant rays.
We use them to distort our vision to.
That’s ridiculous, right? Why would anyone use lenses that make things worse? No one actually does that.
Physically, no. But spiritually, emotionally, mentally… we do it all the time.
Every experience, encounter, situation, trauma, life season, relationship… all of these things cause us to look at things through certain lenses.
If you’ve grown up with an abusive father, that will cause you to look at life with a blurred sense of reality, cowering at every dominant male figure and never feeling good enough.
Some of you were taught that little girls (or boys) look this way, and bad girls and boys look that way. That causes you to look at life with a blurred sense of reality, judging and turning your nose up to everyone who looks and acts “worse” than you, and only surrounding yourself with “pretty” people.
If your parents never EVER fought in front of you but always looked miserable, that causes you to look at life with a blurred sense of reality. My guess is you live life with your spouse and never EVER fight. Chances are you are more distant than the those roommates who have absolutely nothing in common. If you are looking through these lenses, I promise you, it will boil up and explode eventually.
Maybe you grew up with no real adult figures, causing you to look at life with a blurred sense of reality, taking on the world as an enemy you have to conquer, and never relying on anyone but yourself.
Or perhaps you gave everything you had to that person, and they left you, causing you to look at life with a blurred sense of reality. Never again will you let anyone get that close to your torn-to-pieces heart.
Do you see where I’m going? I could go on and on, because there are an infinite amount of glasses we choose to put on each day. These lenses affect every choice we make, every word we say and every feeling that we feel.
But there is only one pair that will give us clear vision, help us speak truth and allow our souls to live in shalom.
When we look through the lenses of the gospel, everything becomes clear.
When we read scripture through the lenses of the gospel, we begin to see it as a whole and perfect story of brokenness, grace, redemption, love and eternity.
When we view the gospel through the lenses of the gospel, we no longer think of it as a product we sell to people on the street in exchange for the satisfaction of numbers.
When we think about Jesus through the lenses of the gospel, we know we are not condemned and shamed, but redeemed, lifted up and victorious.
When we view sin through the lenses of the gospel, we understand that we are innately crooked, and that God is the one who breaks, sets and heals our disease-ridden bones.
When we view suffering through the lenses of the gospel, our gaze shifts from our phone and that current tv series to God because we know He is everything and everything else is nothing in comparison. We rejoice because we are being made like Christ.
When we view our brother’s and sister’s mistakes through the lenses of the gospel, we see them as a fellow fallen soldier who needs some help getting up and getting back to base camp.
When we see that pregnant mom in the parking lot smoking a cigarette through the lenses of the gospel, not only do we feel passionate about the well being of that baby’s life, but we also have overwhelming love and compassion for that mom who doesn’t have any other way out at the moment.
When we think about that guy who keeps running further and further away from great things and deeper and deeper into drugs and loneliness through the lenses of the gospel, we are so burdened for his soul that we get on our face and weep in intercession for him.
When we understand worship through the lenses of the gospel, we realize that every movement we makes decides what we worship, not just 20 minutes on Sunday morning before the pastor speaks.
When we look at ourselves through the lenses of the gospel, we discover how incredibly weak we are and how desperately we need our Creator to save us. Out of that discovery, grace, hope and faith towards everyone and everything bursts forth into the world around us.
He was here before us.
He made us.
He wept for us.
He revealed the depravity in us.
He sent Himself for us.
He died for us.
He covered us.
He redeemed us.
He loves us.
He delights in us.
He makes us new.
He is making all things new.
That is a pair of glasses that I never want to take off.
Over the past week and a half, I have found some really great treasures at the local thrift shops. Last Thursday I was driving home from the Downtown Arts Center and felt like I just needed to run into the House of Bargains, which is a few blocks down. I’m wandering around, and I see this cute table that looks like it might be a cabinet for something. I go over and open it up, and to my ecstatic surprise, a 1930’s Singer Sewing Machine is laying inside! I don’t know if I can stress enough how awesome this was to find sitting in the town I live, because these things are not super common and they are worth a couple hundred bucks. My mother in law has one, and it sews like a dream! This is the sewing machine I’ve wanted for a while now, and there it was just sitting there. I composed myself, and then very calmly asked what the price was. The lady said $40, and I said, “SOLD!” The only two things I need to replace are the needle plate and the bobbin case, which I’ve already found on ebay for so cheap. I cannot wait to clean this beauty up and start sewing with it! I also found an old Samsonite suitcase that day. The rest of the loot I picked up here and there over the past week at the local Goodwill.