I’m lying in a hammock. Strung across the patio of a friends home in the small town of Itapoa, Brazil. Rain is coming down in torrents; the volume both in sound and quantity is almost overwhelming.
How can so much water come from the sky?
My mind flits back to days and weeks gone, moments forever buried in my heart; others at the tip of my tongue. We are reaching the halfway point of sabbatical. As I reflect, my mind falls continually to one word.
It was the word on my lips as we began this journey and it now returns to me. Oxford’s American Dictionary has several definitions. The two that stick out to me are:
n. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view…
n. showing the right (or wrong) relationship between visible objects
Medieval Latin perspectiva, ‘science of optics’ from perspect, ‘looked at closely’
I guess perspective for me is simply the hope to see differently. To gain new lenses on life. To have my vision renewed as I look at my own life and those around me.
It’s not like my life was out of perspective or even that my perspective seemed tweaked or twisted. I wouldn’t say my perspective has changed or that “I have a whole new perspective!” Rather, I would simply say I have perspective. I had it before. I have it now, maybe in a way that has grown.
Perspective isn’t something you can manhandle or force. I tried for a week or two. To do so is like trying to grab a handful of water. As soon as you have it, it runs through your fingers escaping you. However, if you gently cup your hands and allow it to be poured out – you can eagerly receive.
So I stand (or lay) with my hands symbolically open, up towards the rain, gently cupped in eager anticipation. Already God is pouring his perspective into my hands overflowing. I drink, refreshed and I see how different the world looks.