Push and Pull

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”–Psalm 105:4

Push and pull. That is what I have been trying to accomplish with two new pastels this week. My mentor descries how to work some areas and push them into the background by making them more abstract, while other areas need to be pulled forward, by making the edges harder and more detailed. Push and pull. The pastel above, called “Leaf Reflections”, is an example of how I have been applying these concepts. The lower area with the leaf is more in focus, the background is more abstract.

Push and pull. This reminds me of life. This week has had some stressors— a broken water heater, changes in my son’s schedule, challenges with our parents, a change in my job, all these things have been on my mind, churning around. Today I learned from a friend that a prayer chain was starting for a boy who shot himself and is on life support. Push and pull. Suddenly, someone else’s needs seem much bigger than mine. My stuff has receded into the background, while this prayer need comes forward. My little challenges seem like nothing compared to what this family on the prayer chain is facing right now. As I reflect, I notice how things are brought to the forefront, into focus. God is giving me something to do—pray for the needs of someone else. I have looked to the Lord, as the psalmist says above in the text. As I seek His face, I set my needs aside for a bit and focus on someone else.

I am glad God does that at times. Sometimes we get so focused on ourselves and our challenges, that it takes seeking God’s face and hearing about someone else’s problems that makes us realize—“I really don’t have it that bad.” We gain some perspective.

I don’t want to minimize anyone’s challenges, because they seem big (and are big) at the time you go through them. But I find it helpful in my own life to get perspective and focus beyond myself. I still have challenges, but I can look at them through a different lens. There is something life-giving about enlarging the lens at times.

Push and pull. Seek God’s face always. Try this concept with your life this week, and see how God may invite you to see through a different lens and see life in a different way.

Prayer–“God you invite us to seek your face always. I give my problems and challenges up to you and ask that you may help me see life through a different lens, one that also sees the challenges others face. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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