09 April, 2011

360° View

One recent Sunday, we came in a bit late and chose seats quickly. Our daughter came in after us. She immediately, asked me, “Why are we sitting here? We don’t usually sit here. Can we move?”

"No, we’re fine", I replied.

A few minutes later, “Mom, really, this is not where we sit”.

She was distracted and I was distracted. It took me the entire service to work through not being distracted. Clearly, the message that day was lost to me. We merely sat in a different place yet she and I were completely distracted.

It’s reminded me of how easily distracted I can become… a phone call, a good book, Facebook, my favorite TV shows; they all call to me and distract my mind. I know general life issues distract me from the needs in our world because I’m so focused on the needs in my little 360° world. And recently, a bigger distraction has been revealed to me.

My son and I recently visited Texas Tech University as a possibility for his enrollment this fall. This University offers a nation-leading Center for the Study of Addition and Recovery. One evening, as I arrived to pick up our small group of young men, I came up to the Center where a large group had just dismissed from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. The young adults were standing outside talking, laughing and visiting. I waited in our 15-passenger van and just watched the scene. It was a group of college kids. Some looked like typical college students and some looked like….well, rather radical-looking college students. There were lots of tattoos and long hair. I saw Nick. He’s tall so he’s easy to spot. Plus his long, curly hair is really easy to spot!

I thought, “Why can’t he cut his hair? Why did he get another tattoo? Yes, I know it reads, “Psalms 23” but still”….it’s so foreign to me. Here I was a southern woman, nicely coiffed and ironed, nails done, lipstick in place looking at this group of recovering addicts. This is not what I dreamed of and hoped for my son. I wanted a perfect little life with perfect little children. All of us dressed in ironed khakis, polo shirts and cute dresses and probably wearing white gloves !! This picture is NOT the real world. So yes, I caught myself being distracted by the way people look. I should have been seeing a group of recovering addicts who were celebrating the mercy of God and the fact of redemption in their lives. These people celebrate every day that they are alive and blessed! Their faith in the midst of recovery is huge and authentic and palatable.

I am SO very shallow and my son has taught me that. So often I only see the outside. Forgive me, Lord. Why can’t I see the heart of people? Why am I stuck on the outside view? A great looking outside means absolutely nothing, I KNOW that is a truth but continually find myself distracted by the external.

How very sad and sick I am. We’re all addicts because we’re all broken inside. It’s the world, my view, my image, it’s our 360° view.

I’m going to be shocked when I see Jesus because He’s not going to look like my image of Him. Again, again, again….my son…my hope…my Jesus…take the MY out of me Lord. Give me eyes to see as You see.