Thursday, May 5, 2011

Perceptions and Impressions

Yesterday I finished reading two books from the current pile.  Both were worth the time.
Papa spoke to me through the words of both authors, of course. 
He has something to say through whatever is taking my time and attention, whether a book, a movie, a conversation or even when I am just hanging out. 

A simple glance out the window speaks volumes.  The beauty that He has chosen to share with us blesses my heart!  Each season holds its own beauty, yet spring also speaks of new life, one of Papa's specialties!
I am grateful for the moments that He causes me to stop and really see the gifts that lay before me.  Too often I am so focused on what is going on in my own head that I cannot see beyond all of it.  Papa brings balance back to my life on a regular basis so I will not see without seeing or hear without hearing, as so many do.
When we take time to receive what He has for us through what we see or hear, then the message of His love becomes clearer.  All our perceptions and impressions will reinforce this truth if we let Him clear our hearts and minds.

In Beth Moore's book, "Get Out of that Pit," she spoke of how we end up in a pit because of wrong perceptions and impressions.  When we believe the lie that we are not loved by God, for whatever reason, then we become vulnerable to more lies.  Her remedy is to stick close to God and continue to go deeper in your relationship with Him.

The book, "Barabbas" drew the picture of a man whose perceptions and impressions were way off and thus he spent most of his time in a self dug pit. 
The book itself is fiction.  The author, Par Lagerkvist, took the fact of Jesus' crucifixion and Barabbas' release as the springboard and theme of the story, but most of the ensuing details of the faith of the new church are far from the truth.
At times I became so disgusted with how far off base from the truth the author went that I would decide not to read anymore.  However, once again, I would pick it up.
The story follows the protagonist through his life, which was filled with angst.  The main struggle is whether to believe in God and thus who Jesus was or not.  I believe that this struggle was the author's own.  I began to realize that his own perceptions were distorted and was only expressing what he thought he knew and believed.
I will not say how it ends, though some have probably read the book or viewed the 1961 film, but will say that the ending made the whole difference for me.  It revealed to the reader what was under the surface all the time; the struggle to believe that he could be loved.  He had believed the lie.

Each one of us has history that colors our perceptions and thus our impressions.  The only way to have clarity is to bring it all to Him.
As I read the account of the fall of man in Genesis three and Eve's part in it, I saw that how she viewed things was being manipulated by the enemy.  She came to see what she did not have without taking into consideration all that she did possess.  God had been depicted as Someone holding out on her instead of for Who He truly is, the Creator and Sustainer of life, hers and ours.

Well, I am moving on to two new books, "Street Wise," by John Goodfellow and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by Rebecca Skloot.  The former is the story of a man who had become trapped in addiction and thus criminal activity and his journey to freedom.  The latter is my book club's latest selection.  It is a non-fiction that tells the story of a woman whose cells were taken without permission and used to launch a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry.

I wonder what Papa will have to say to me through these newest reads.  I am certain that He will be working on clearing up a few perceptions and impressions along the way!

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