Which lens do you use?

Photographer unknown

I have recently completed a doctoral thesis, and part of the process is selecting a theoretical framework that underpins the research. This may sound daunting, it was at first, but you choose an existing theory and use this theory as a lens through which you view your research, data analysis and test your findings theoretically. It is like choosing a pair of sunglasses, or reading glasses, to observe things with more clarity. I used Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory of Human Development, a mouthful indeed! It took a while for me to get my head around the theory, but once I understood it and assimilated it I become passionate about it, and could apply it to daily occurrences – I know, a Bronfenbrenner nerd! I began thinking what theory I used when I looked at others?

Our minds are amazing organs! As a primary teacher I would refer to the brain as a filing cabinet. This filing system is a collection of experiences, and perspectives, that are gained over a lifespan. These experiences are shaped culture, traditions, family background, schooling and people in your life. When you experience something new your mind goes to the cabinet and locates an existing experience, which often guides your perspective on the event or experience.

This brought me to the realisation that I need to dig deeper into the Word and ask YHWH to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, so that I may use this to guide my observations. Very often my knee jerk reaction is misplaced defence, guided by prior experiences, and motivated by defensive reactions. If, however I look at a situation through a Biblical lens then the reaction will be different. Strange how we can feel guilty about something, like not phoning someone when you had intended to do so, you got caught up and were unable to make the call. You send a text message instead and receive a rather blunt answer…what is your knee jerk reaction? I allow my mind to become flooded with guilty thoughts and think the person is angry at me…how silly. If I was to view this through a different lens then I may consider that the person is also busy, did not have time to send me a soft and fuzzy text – after all did time not bulldoze my day? The knee jerk reaction should be to whisper, a small love prayer for this person, and arrange to catch up. This is a simple example, but how often do we let our filing cabinet of passed experiences decide our reaction? Let us rather allow the Comforter and Councillor that Yeshua promised in John 16:7-11 guide our reaction.

There is a beautiful song, “Open the eyes of my heart”. If YHWH opens the eyes of our heart, then we will have dove eyes (Song of Song 1:15). Doves are gentle birds and the dove that descended upon Yeshua when He was baptised by John was representative of the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth. So, we need to pray that we will have dove eyes, eyes that are focused by the Spirit of Truth, that we look through the lens of love, and Him, who died for us that we are guided by the Word of Truth, our theoretical framework for life, and not our human schema.

I pray that today you will see the beauty of His creation, see how He loves you and I pray that the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth will guide your vision and reactions. Amen