|Nelson and Jessica sharing a tender moment, 1992, Vermilion Bay, Ontario|
The above image shows my husband and daughter sharing a quiet roadside moment as we travelled halfway across Canada back in 1992. This scene has stayed in my memory because it shows a special bond between the two...a bond of trust they still share. Yet when I put my writer's spectacles on, I can imagine the child having a drastic allergic reaction to something the man is giving her. Or what about a desperate father deciding to kidnap his daughter from his estranged wife in a scene worthy of Amber Alert. Yet it can be as simple as a teacher giving a blind child a pine cone so she can feel the texture.
The truth is, we usually don't know what people are doing or why they are doing it if we aren't clued into their life and circumstance. We see something and imagine the rest without having all the facts. That's a dangerous assumption all around.
While searching for an image to show how different people perceive situations, I typed the word, cry, into the search engine at pixabay.com and the following image came up with tags of cry, sad, and want to be alone. What I found interesting is that my first thought upon seeing it wasn't sad at all, but that of a boy playing the game of Hide-and-Seek and he was counting before looking for the rest of the kids.
Words can also have different perceptions. I was recently looking for a verse to go on a Scripture Pic that would show how God doesn't judge us and I came upon 1 Samuel chapter 16. This is the chapter that shows how God directed the prophet Samuel to anoint the new king of Israel from among the sons of Jesse. Samuel doesn't know who will be chosen, so asks to see all of Jesse's sons. As the first one is brought in, verse 7 reads, "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
That first part by itself tells us that it doesn't matter if someone is too tall, too short, too handsome, or not. God doesn't care what our physical bodies look like...He looks in our heart to see if we're good or evil. But if I only used the first part on my scripture pic, or even the complete verse, those unfamiliar with the chapter might be confused because this verse doesn't actually say that God rejected the eldest son because his heart wasn't good.
For my scripture pic then, in order to avoid confusion for those who wouldn't see the rest of the verses in 1 Samuel chapter 16, I decided that the last half of verse 7 was what I want people to know about our God.
Perception is best explained as how we see things and put them in perspective using our senses and understanding. In today's world where one image of a person or situation without a qualifying explanation of the story behind it can change lives forever, we need to step back and stop the speculation of what we think we see or hear, or even read, because it doesn't matter.
The only thing that matters is what God sees in our heart.
Note: I have no theology credentials other than having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who lives in my heart.
Anita Mae Draper lives on the Canadian prairies where she uses her experience and love of history to enhance her stories of yesteryear's romance with realism and faith. Readers can enrich their story experience with visual references by checking Anita's Pinterest boards. All links available on her website at www.anitamaedraper.com