I was thinking this morning about perspective. When taking photos you can make the viewer see what you want them to. When buying something online people are really good at making the product look amazing. For example I bought a pair of decorative columns the other day off the marketplace and had to drive a half hour to get them. Daniel had asked me before I committed to buying them how tall they were. I said based on the picture of them standing in a doorway probably over four feet. I got there and found out they are about two feet tall. I bought them anyways and now I have short stubby columns sitting in my house. These last three days have been rough and as I looked back on them this morning I realized how much perspective plays into life.
My son Justice texted me the other morning from the parking lot at his work saying he was having shortness of breath. He’s extremely tough and doesn’t complain about anything so the fact that he was even reaching out gave me cause for concern. Since he’s about as open as a clam I pried on as any good mother would do and started barraging him with questions. He also has EDS so at first I thought maybe a rib had slipped. It can be very painful and make it hurt to breath, but he’s had this happen before and said it didn’t feel like that. He stated it was his left side only that seemed to be short of air and he was having pain in his shoulder and shooting up his neck. At this I suggested he go to urgent care. I thought for sure I’d have a fight on my hands at this recommendation because he hates urgent care and the ER with a passion. He cut his finger down to the bone once and refused to go in. Instead his response was “hold on”, after a few seconds he texts me back and told me he just told his employer he’s heading to urgent care and won’t be in today. I was shocked and now even more worried. He insisted that he didn’t want to go alone so despite me pleading for him to go directly to urgent care he drove home so grandma could take him. Looking back this was a very good thing as she was able to help keep him calm and force him to follow through with treatment. Long story a little shorter. They found that he had a pneumothorax (his lung collapsed) in his left lung and needed to be admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately they couldn’t directly admit him but had to send him through the ER first. Thrilled that he got to visit all of his favorite places in one day they headed over. They inserted a tube into his rib cage and proceeded to suck the air out of the chest cavity allowing his lung to re-inflate, according to him this is a horribly painful process. The suction was shut off yesterday and he’s getting ready to have another X-ray this morning to make sure the lung is still inflated. If it is they will remove the tube and then watch to make sure the lung doesn’t collapse again.
So what does all this have to do with perspective. I’m currently 2500 miles away from my boy and completely unable to do anything to help him or even just sit there with him and hold his hands as he walks through this. To put it lightly, it’s killing me. For some reason I feel like if I was there I would somehow be able to magically make everything all better or at least be able to control the situation. When talking to Justice he sees all of this as a huge over reaction to something that’s “not that big of a deal” and doesn’t understand why they just won’t let him go home. These view points we both see as facts but in reality we are both wrong. Because of our perspective, or frame of reference, we all see reality through differently lenses. Our family has all walked through this with Justice but each and every one of us will walk away with different memories and emotions. My mother-in-law was sitting there with him through 99% of this but her experience and emotions are going to be drastically different from his.
What’s my point? As we walk through life there are absolute truths, but each one of us will experience those differently, that doesn’t change the truth though. Justice has a pneumothorax. That’s a fact and how I feel or how Justice feels about that isn’t changing anything. How we react to it is where we all are going to differ. We’ll probably all share similar emotions, fear, helplessness, loneliness, but how we process and deal with those is different.
God stated time and time again that He does not change. He is love. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. All these are facts. How we feel about these truths in any given moment doesn’t change the facts. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. As a parent I get to walk with my kids through the first 18 or so years of their lives but I don’t get to live their life. I will never be able to experience life as Justice, only with him. He can try to explain how this felt and what he went through but I will never truly understand. I can be sympathetic but I didn’t experience it the same way he did. Our walks with God are the same way. We’ll have similar events but no one will be able to experience God the way I do. It’s too personal. Same goes for every believer whose ever walked the face of the earth. God who is all powerful has an intensely personal relationship with each of us.
As we continue to walk through this crazy world right now let’s try to remember two things. First God is in control regardless of how we feel or the way things look. That truth doesn’t change regardless of what the media and culture wants us to believe. God has set foundational truths that thankfully are unshakable. Hold to those truths and hold to His love even on the dark days. He is there.