"We let people dictate the framework through which we know God rather than God being the framework through which we know ourselves and others."
My friend Tracee wrote that to me in an email, surreptitiously tucked away in the middle of a paragraph. I tried to keep reading, but I couldn't. I had to linger there a while before I could move on. Because she's right. I've allowed people and the experiences of my life to shape my view of God, rather than the other way around.
Since people are fallible and hurts are inevitable, seeing God through the lens of my past makes Him appear far too small. Far too human. Far too unloving. I imagine Him responding like so many others have; I picture Him treating me the way I treat myself.
I see God with clouded vision. And I want to see Him clearly.
I've spent a lot of time in the past several months identifying my lenses. Naming them. Considering what triggers them. Pondering how things look without them. And asking God to remove them.
Because my lenses stem from wounds, fears, and insecurities deep inside me, this process has challenged me to be more vulnerable than ever before. That's been hard. And scary. But my vulnerability has been met with an intimacy I've never known.
God is so very good to me.
I desire to live with Him as my lens. I want Him to be the filter through which I see and experience life. That would change everything about how I think, feel, respond, act. So I'm trying to renew my mind, take captive every thought, and soak myself in His truth. I want to saturate myself with His character, His heart. The more I know Him, the more I will see through His lens rather than my own.
While I still fail miserably most of the time---old habits, they die hard---I am changing. Slowly but surely my lenses are wearing thinner. And He is coming more into focus.
My intention today, and every day, is to know Him more deeply and intimately. Because ultimately I don't want to be a better version of me. I want to be more like Christ.