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And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men… ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (KJV)
Love one another deeply, from the heart. ~ 1 Peter 1:22 (NIV)
While driving home this morning after taking my sons to school, I thought about how many things look different when I see them through the colored lenses of my sunglasses. The colors of autumn were more vibrant, the colors of cars are sometimes different, and how many times have I looked up at the sky with sunglasses on and seen a rainbow in the clouds, but then couldn’t see the rainbow when I took my sunglasses off? Hmmm…how might people look different if I looked at them through a special lens…perhaps a lens of love? What ‘colors’ about them would become more vibrant? What beautiful things might appear if I look at others through a lens of love? What things am I missing when I don’t look at others through a lens of love?
And then, as if on perfect cue, I turned into our neighborhood, and saw a huge rainbow encircling the sun! It was a beautiful, sunny morning, but there was just enough of a thin veil of clouds in the sky that the sun’s rays created a rainbow in the clouds. This wasn’t just two arcs like a set of parenthesis on the sides of the sun like I’ve seen many times before…this rainbow literally encircled the sun- and it was a huge circle! It was an incredible sight to see! Hadn’t I just been thinking about rainbows that appear around the sun? It was as if God knew the thoughts I’d been having and was saying, “Yes, Renee, you’re onto something when you think about looking at others through the lens of love. Now I’m going to show you the most beautiful rainbow around the sun you’ve ever seen!”
Two neighbors were walking along the sidewalk. I was so amazed by the rainbow in the sky that I had to tell them about it! At first, neither lady could see it. “It’s huge!” I said, “Look again!” Then the lady wearing sunglasses saw it. She, too, was amazed. I handed my sunglasses to the other lady and told her to look again. Then she saw it, too, and exclaimed she’d never seen anything like it before. “It’s God’s sign of promise up in the sky…and it’s here at the start of the Christmas season!” I said. Neither woman said another word, they kept walking silently with their eyes on sky, taking in the incredible sight before them.
Seeing that magnificent rainbow encircling the sun, right after I’d been thinking about such things, is a moment I will never forget. I hope I’ll also remember how God confirmed my thoughts, that the people will indeed look more amazing when we see them through a lens of love.
Oh, Father, God, thank You for that magnificent sight this morning! My gift to You this holiday season will be my attempts to see others through the lens of love…specifically Your lens of love.
Prayer from the book, Prayers and Promises for Teachers:
Father…You have given me love that is beyond human understanding, and I am Your loving servant. May the love I feel for You be reflected in the compassion that I show toward (others). Give me Your eyes to see others as You see them, Lord, and let me show compassion and understanding to (others) this day and every day. – author unknown
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.