Yesterday, an interesting video was making the rounds on social networking sites. A child abuse prevention network called Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation
has launched a new ad campaign which makes use of lenticular images. Essentially, anyone standing below 4.5 feet tall will see a different image from those who are taller than that height. The purpose of the ad campaign is designed to empower children who are in abusive situations to know that there are places where they can find help.
The shifting images of the posters put the hamster on the wheel in my head and I couldn’t help but feel that most of us could benefit with being able to see things from a different perspective.
Perhaps if we, as a society, were willing to put ourselves in an abused child’s place, perhaps we would not allow our own feelings of helplessness to keep us silent.
Perhaps if we, as a society, could put ourselves in the place of a homeless vet, we would not be so quick to look away when we pass them on the street.
Perhaps if we, as a society, were willing to put ourselves in the place of the Bangladeshi factory workers who were literally worked to death, we would be more selective about which clothes we buy and more determined to protect and cherish the lives of the people who make our garments.
And… yes… if we were willing to put ourselves in the shoes of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family, maybe we’d understand why it is so important that they be able to bury their dead.
A simple shift in our perspective can open up a vast new view on life, on the world, and on faith. We may not always like what we see. We might be ashamed of how we look from that new perspective. We might be made a bit uncomfortable by how different things appear when we put ourselves in the place of another. But it could be just the thing that we need to open our hearts so that we might be able to love more like Jesus.
Jesus, himself, did just that. He shifted his perspective. When society was going out of its way to avoid lepers, Jesus put himself right in the midst of them. When “good” people avoided known sinners at all costs, Jesus sat down at a table and broke bread with them. When the sick, the shamed, and the sinful were cast aside, Jesus went right up to them. And from that new perspective he was able to love them, to accept them, and to offer them a place in the Kingdom right along side him.
From his perspective on a cross, he found it easy to forgive the very people who were crucifying him. I wonder how we must have looked to him, as he hung there in agony, looking down upon us?
From his perspective at a well at midday, he found it easy to see the worth in a woman who no one else could find worth in: a Samaritan, an outcast, a woman who had been around town a few times (if you catch my drift…).
And from his perspective in a tomb he could see the dire need this world needed for his salvation and the life he offered.