Images, Filters, and Reconciliation
Devotional Thought of the Day
5 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. 6 It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 7 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. 2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (MSG)
592 Don’t forget that you are just a trash can. So if by any chance the divine gardener should lay his hands on you, and scrub and clean you, and fill you with magnificent flowers, neither the scent nor the colors that beautify your ugliness should make you proud. Humble yourself: don’t you know that you are a trash can? (1)
For the last few days, I am seeing more and more of my friends pictures with filters over them.
Some filters are rainbow colored. Some are black and white. A lot I’ve seen are a translucent copy of the papal flag, Even seen a few confederate flags the week before the supreme court decision.
And I guess I don’t understand it. Either personally or pastorally.
First, personally. When I am relating to friends and people, is what your filter speaks of the most important thing about you? Is it what symbolizes you so much, that it must block who you are? Is that what you want to divide you from me, what must stand between us getting to know each other, getting to care for each other? Is that filter the primary lens through which you want to be viewed?
Or can I get to know all of you – not just the one aspect that filters the rest of you from me?
Secondly, as a pastor, I am concerned about the same issue. About people seeing you through just one lens, about it hiding who you are from others. Like I said, I have friends with just about every filter there is. And I have people I struggle with, who also “wear” those filters. They range all over the map, different personality types, different careers, talents, hobbies, Some are nice, some annoying. Yet the effect is dividing FB and other social media into groups, hiding the diversity, hiding who people really are. What is worse is that these groups divide people, not reconcile them. It isolates us from each other, or it causes us to put on masks, so we aren’t seen opposing others. I know not many are putting on these filters to divide themselves from others, but isn’t that the effect at the end of the day?
As a pastor, as I was thinking about these filters this morning, Paul’s image of us being a bunch of ordinary pots, unadorned, unpainted. It is what inside us then that makes the difference. Just like in St. Josemaria’s garbage can. You can have a pot filler with glorious flowers, or one filled with fertilizer. You can have a pot that is cracked that is filled with gold, and you can have a beautifully painted chamber pot. (those were the pots that were used prior to the invention of indoor plumbing) We can be garbage cans, filled with trash, or cleaned and repurposed for something.
it is scripture that tells us what it takes to take something common, ordinary (the original definition of profane btw) and make it something beautiful, something incredible. It’s not the filter that makes us special, it isn’t our pride, or that in which we take pride that makes us more valuable. In fact, it in our humility, where we reach out to other for help, when we realize we need to sit down and talk rather than force our views down the throats of those who have different filters, or are unfiltered folk.
Yes, that includes bluntly discussing some things, like morality. We need to approach each other, even in disagreement, peacefully, desiring the best for each other. Will we disagree on what is best? Perhaps! But unless we drop the filters, how will we ever know if someone has something we need to hear? How will we be able to offer them something that will help them?
And for my fellow believers, are those filters helping you do what God has called you to do?
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 1413-1416). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on June 30, 2015, in Devotions, The Way and tagged anxiety, apostolate, communication, defensive mechanisms, diversity, filters, love, mission, reality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.