Eye of the beholder

"Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it." -Genesis 28:16

The most useful advice about photography I've ever received was from a friend a few years ago, who said that it is the lens that affects, frames, and changes everything. How we think about and relate to the world is a lot a lens of a camera: our lenses change how we look at things and what we look at.  The lens is the difference between encouragement and discouragement.  A child's mess and a work of art.   Interruptions and opportunities.  Are you lost or on an adventure?  What is the difference between weeds and wildflowers but the eye of the beholder?

I don't know a lot about Japan, but there are a few things that I do know: that Japan is less than 1% Christian and that there are historical and cultural barriers to the Gospel.  Local Christians who spend their lives here know that the work is hard, slow and sometimes fruitless.  They may be wearing the lens of discouragement. I am an outsider here, merely passing through. But you know what I can see through my lens? God is in this place. He's in the beauty all around us, and in the seasons that come and go, bringing rain and sun so that the rice can grow and be transformed into delicious mochi balls and steaming bowls of noodles. He arrays his splendor in Mount Fuji which stands magestically in the distance.  He is in the hearts of the gracious and friendly Japanese people and he hears their heartfelt prayers.

A good lens is like a pair of fresh eyes, and we need each other to see the expanse of what how God is at work.  He is working in ways that I cannot see. He is working in ways that you cannot see.  And we need each other to see the expanse of what God is doing.  

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© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall