What You See Depends on Where You are Standing

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing…” – C.S. Lewis by Hope Wilson
Pikes Peak, Colorado

My last work trip before the lockdown was in Colorado. During my free time, I wandered around and glimpsed the breathtaking beauty of the landscape that inspired Katharine Lee Bates’ poem: America The Beautiful. Here is the excerpt of the original poem (1893):

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!

Bates’ description shows where she was standing. Physical imagery with elevated spiritual imagery is a result of God shedding his grace on us. Turning to our current tragic events, I’ve been pondering what to do as well as where to turn for comfort, answers and direction. What I was seeing and hearing made me despair as I am sure some of you can relate. I was standing on shifting sand. What does the bible say about the chaos and anguish that threatens to engulf us? In the book of Daniel 9:2:

“In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures…that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years…”

Scriptures helped Daniel understand the crushing of evil as part of a larger story. Daniel did not follow his inclination or assumptions as I am tempted to do with raw data; he turned to the all-sufficient word of God. Beloved, like Daniel, let God’s word be our lamp, guide and light. Let us also follow his example and weep for our nation and confess saying–

“To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame…To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. O my God, incline your ear and hear…”

Daniel 9:7,18

For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing. Let us stand on the solid rock of God’s truth. If you have lost sight of that spiritual truth, persevere in your quest, seek, question, pray and ask God to renew your mind with his truth. God’s word is our telescope and winning strategy. Let us cling to it now more than ever.