There is a triptych painted by a friend that hangs in my study. As I listen to the comments and reactions of those that view the paintings, I realize how personal art can and is to every individual. With each reaction, I am introduced to a slightly different way of seeing and understanding life. In the range of emotions and responses, with each reaction one is given a view of the different frameworks or lens through which members of the larger family process what is observed.
It is helpful to separate the observation and conclusion from the lens itself. I am reminded that there is not right or wrong way to see life. One sees how one sees. If one wants to understand and support the other, it is helpful to look at life through the lens of the Other.
In understanding, there is an opportunity for insight and trust. Each contributes to the birth of dialogue and collaboration. The idea that being helpful and compassionate is a one-way street from those who have arrived to those in need is a myth. It is in understanding others that we understand ourselves. It is in accepting others where s/he is that we begin to accept ourselves.
As I think of the painting’s origin and life today, I am struck by how much we, you, others, and myself, have in common with each other. We long to be accepted and loved. We thirst for understanding and respect. We fear abandonment and being ignored. We remember the high and lows of the past, the best and worst parts of our relationship defining much of what we remember.
In my awareness of you, I find thread of myself. I realize “God is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies.” (Psalm 113.4) In seeing through another’s eyes, I realize I am seeing more hope and possibilities than ever before!
As today begins, I find myself looking beyond the immediate. I want to see more than what I see. There are insights in and through others.