a new lens, reframing, and more light…

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22-23

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click on this link for Rebekah’s message

So Rebekah’s been preaching this sermon series about perspective. Her messages have featured titles such as, “Push Back, Move Forward,” and last Sunday’s exceptional, “A Different View.” She’s been talking a lot about how God constantly challenges us to take the blinders off and to embrace imagination, and creativity, and Christ’s insistent call to move forward rather than mark time or – worse – look over our shoulders at the past and insist that our answers reside there.

This is why I couldn’t fail to see the irony in her appointment with the ophthalmologist Friday morning. Too much of the world has been looking dark, out of focus, and impossible to read. Essentially, she needs to look at things through a new lens.

Not just new lenses, it turns out, but new frames as well. Because it’s not only important to make sure we can see clearly, and take steps to let enough light in, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re framing things appropriately too. My first photograph of the scene was too close to see clearly – then I looked out at the mirror on the wall and took an entirely different photograph… without even moving.

Good photography is just as much about framing as it is focus and clarity, and the same is true when it comes to our spiritual eyes, and how we look out into God’s world. We have to ask God to flood us with light, and give us clarity, and keep things in perspective – but we also need to make sure we’re framing up the view in the right way, and the right way is most often laid out in God’s word.

In the Gospels Jesus tells us, time and again, to frame our view in love. If we ask God to give us the eyes of Jesus, when we open them we see our outlook is framed up around people and situations where God’s love is desperately needed: the confused, the poor, the sick, the broken, the vulnerable, the outcasts, the “least” of these.

So we have some new frames on order for Rebekah, and some new lenses too. They’re not cheap, you know… but neither is grace, or mercy, or love, or discipleship, or new eyes – and most especially not the Jesus quality of seeing.

– Always committed to letting in more light – DEREK

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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