Having the ability to see a situation from a different perspective can be an amazing opportunity for growth. At times, unless we choose to intentionally see otherwise, observation becomes very stagnant. We've heard it as children when our parents told us to imagine wearing their shoes, we've heard it when we were given advice from friends, and we've even given out this advice to others. However how often do we really practice that ourselves?
When I see a friend get disturbing test results from the doctor, do I encourage him with cliche phrases, or do I sit and empathise with him?
There are a lot of needs, and we simply don't have the capacity to honestly and truly support as many people as we would like. In an age of social networking, and seeing updates from hundreds (or even thousands) of people, taking time to honestly reflect, pray for, and walk with everyone is just impossible.
Jesus can, we can not.
That doesn't mean that distance or even relational depth is a barrier to those individuals, I just think we really need to listen to His guidance on when to act, and to whom we act with. There are times I am called to walk with someone close to me, and there have been times I've exchanged words, e-mails, and written communication with others I hardly knew before I was called to speak to them.
Having another perspective comes when we are in relationship with someone who will bring that new perspective. If we live our lives in our comfortable world, those new perspectives (some scary) will remain comfortably pushed away. We are His Hands and feet, and we need to remember (I need to remember) that if I want a new perspective, I need to find someone in need that will give me one.
These perspectives and situations that are waiting for us are not limited to situations of grief and sadness (something my anxiety makes me believe). At times, we will enter the trenches, pop our head up, and look around (like my son examining the prairie dogs!) and find something new; a new friend, a new insight, a new experience.
Father, I pray I draw from your strength and embrace new relational challenges. I fear too much still, and it only shows how much I need You. Help me hold firm to your promises, call me to Yourself, and guide me in a direction of your choosing. May Your light be shined as I journey through this world, and may I meet new challenges with excitement, not fear. As I gain new perspectives myself, may those I encounter also gain new perspectives too; Yours.