SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Look at the Waves from Here
Gaining perspective facilitates understanding and could pave the way to having compassion for another.
My youngest brother was about three years old when we vacationed in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Waves pounded one right after the other into the sandy shore. My brother, taken to the water’s edge, started to cry.
Dad knelt down to my brother’s eye level—paused—and looked out to sea.
He then turned to us and told us to kneel down as well.
He engaged our attention and pointed to the ocean, “Look at the waves from here.”
It was a teachable moment about making judgments and accepting people where they are.
We all glanced at each other and understood my brother’s cry. Waves looked big and scary from his eye-level perspective.
This lesson was brought to mind recently by a friend who witnessed the interactions of a group.
A couple of members shared how it was to grow up different and recounted the relationship conflicts that ensued and the internal distress it caused.
My friend does not share their beliefs and his way of life is different than theirs; but, he gained perspective through the stories told.
He realized understanding where they come from helped him to have compassion for where they are.
His newly-found perspective is that his understanding doesn’t require his agreement with their beliefs or how they live their lives.
Another incident showing the value of perspective involves an older man who introduced himself to an artist’s group.
He gestured broadly, accustomed to being a teacher of scientific information to classes throughout the states.
In a somewhat meandering style, he offered a series of interesting stories that could have been snippets from previous presentations.
Unaccustomed to the group’s process, his polished delivery was a bit different for this informal group.
After each group member read their selections, he read a short story from his book about his observations on nature.
His story was concise, descriptive, and insightful.
Ironically, the story was about witnessing two sets of bird behaviors in response to one of their own.
One set of birds cawed and whipped their wings antagonistically as they ostracized the third bird.
The other set of birds brought the loner bird into the group and shared feed with him.
As the first set of birds, we can choose to insert our opinions and create a wedge of distance, by not seeking to understand and withholding compassion.
The next time we are inclined to discount another, we might consider first this insight on the value of gaining perspective – “Look at the waves from here.”
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24, KJV
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32
NanaSays.Com | 2022