Perception … { Readers Respond and Other Thoughts Along the Lenten Journey }

I’m learning to pay attention to my surroundings as I walk it out with Jesus.  Flowers …acorns …heart-shaped objects …texture of rock, pavement or soil …light …shadows …patterns …birds …the way the sunlight filters in across the floor.  I’m learning to listen to the sounds around me …the  birds singing …the way the “rocks rattle” beneath my feet (as my granddaughter, Haddie, describes it) …the leaves blowing in the wind… the hum of a fan …the ticking of a clock on the wall …and to the Holy Spirit as He whispers truth.

Seeing.  Listening.

It’s so easy to be in my own story and have a limited view — a lens of my own making.

I can create the borders that are most comfortable for me and zoom in or widen that lens depending on my own understanding.  Tunnel vision is easy when I want control. A panoramic view is all-embracing but can stretch me beyond my comfort zone.

Do I snap on my own lens and keep pushing through life or do I let my eyes focus on Jesus who is all-encompassing?  Do I lean on my own understanding or do I let myself fall into His strong arms and view the wonder of the story through His eyes as if watching the millions of  stars come out to play on clear summer night?

Do I see the puddle as something to avoid or do I choose to see the wonder of the view within the puddle?

Do I stress and strive over the view unseen  or do I trust in the unseen hand of God as He paints the best picture?  Even if …will I trust Him for the story He’s writing for me and those I love?

Trust. Walk.  Rest. {Repeat!}

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

I Corinthians 13:12 NLT

As the journey continues,  God is teaching me and using you to teach me  as well!  Thank you for walking with me along this path.   Before we enter into week 5, I thought I’d share some reader responses from week 4 to widen the lens a bit…

“The lens of perception”  What do WE see through our lenses (our eyes, picture-taking, video taking, etc.)?  We take pictures every day.  We may not record them, but even our naked eyes take pictures and send the signals to our mind.  What we see versus what we should see are two different things.  What does God want us to see?  Or rather, when He graces us with something to see, why do we distort it into what WE want it to look like?

From page 128 of this week’s readings:

“We can miss the most authentic experience of life in the imitation.  For genuine repentance consists of feeling deeply our human helplessness, of knowing how God comes to us when we are completely broken.”  (Henry Drummond~Bread and Wine)

We miss these experiences, or we twist and distort them through our lens and we upset our Father.

“Only when we come to our Father in response to his waiting look can we be freed and forgiven.” (Henry Drummond~page 129)

How often do we give our kids or spouses a “look” that conveys all;  anger, sadness, etc. when we know they have messed up?  Our lens needs to see that God is giving us that look.  Change our lens of perception.  See it the way He does – He wants us to.  And if we mess up that perception – repent.  Always go back to Him and repent.  He will give us a new lens.

Michele G.

“It seems to me that so much of life is a “long obedience in the same direction” (Eugene Peterson). I do know that the pain and grief can lead us deeper into oneness with our All-Vulnerable Savior. Richard Rohr contends that “everything belongs,” including the suffering. We can’t hold it all, but God can.
The chapter that riveted me was twenty-two, Henry Drummond’s words about sorrow and repentance and the turning of the Lord to see me. I was reminded of how Aslan looked at the children in Narnia, never with condemnation or disgust, but always with love and truthful revelation, seeing through the soul, revealing the sin, enveloping with love, evoking true repentance.”

Debby S.

“I read Romano Guardini’s chapter, “Believing Is Seeing” over and over again! It spoke straight to my heart and I could not move past it for several days! I also heard a strong message of surrender in the reading this week and I’ve struggled with what that “looks” like …

You know how exciting it is to feel God speak to your heart in a way that is so clear it’s as if He handed you a memo? Well, I’ve often joked that I’m prone to snatching those memos from Him and turning around “to be on my way” before He’s given me the complete instructions. At the first sign of the “fix to my problem” I’m off and running when what I need to be doing is kneeling, listening, looking up to God.”

Beth H.

Have you started to sense what God wants to talk you about this season?

I’m looking forward to Week #5 as we get nearer to the cross of Jesus and His powerful Resurrection.

Embrace the journey!


5 thoughts on “Perception … { Readers Respond and Other Thoughts Along the Lenten Journey }

  1. What a beautiful reminder to pay attention to our surroundings and what we can notice from the lens of our perception. I’ve learned to pray an Examen prayer, “Help me see this day through your lens, Lord.” That’s a looking back over the day sort of prayer. I think I need more of the in-the-moment, walking through my day awareness too. Thank you for your words, Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting about the Examen prayer at the end of the day. I’m learning from you along this journey! Adding that focus to the end of my day would give another layer of focused attention on God’s presence and activity throughout the day — a kind of recapping to see the whole thread of His weaving in the day. Thank you Jan! Looking forward to seeing you soon as God gives that opportunity.


  2. For me to pay attention I must be settled in my soul. If I’m at all unsettled then I miss those things. I’m learning how to do this even during busy seasons. It’s about where my heart is…..or Who I’m looking to……..that makes all the difference. Thanks for this journey Joy!

    Liked by 1 person

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