The Eyes Have It
Our eyes are marvelous parts of our bodies. They automatically adjust to different levels of light. I can focus my eyes on something a hundred feet away and, at the same time, see an object a short distance from my face. I can see in three dimensions. At any one time, my eyes can distinguish between a dozen different light and dark tones.
Cameras have made significant advances, especially in the last few years. But for the most part, they are still more restricted, optically, than my eyes. So to create worthwhile, interesting images, I need to take into account the different perspective that the camera has. Put another way, I need to train myself to see as the camera sees.
Below is a scene I came upon one spring in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The image above is what my eyes saw. But it is not a good photograph. It’s difficult to say what the subject is, if there even is one. In addition, the shadows in this picture detract from rather than enhance this image. What I needed to do was to take into account the camera’s perspective. When I did that, I wound up with this image below, which is a much better photograph.
In spiritual terms, there’s little doubt about how I should see. In speaking to Samuel, God made it very clear:
“The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(I Samuel 16:7 NIV)
When Jesus talked to a woman at the well in Samaria, he did not consider her heritage, her lifestyle, or her reputation. Instead, Jesus looked at her heart.
Whether I’m on a mission trip to a foreign country or standing in line at a local fast food restaurant, I need to try to see other people as God sees them.