Turn Your Gaze the Other Way

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By Kathi Pelton

Last night as we were driving home from a wonderful outing, our daughter, who was sitting in the back seat on the driver’s side of the car, looked out the window to the east and said, “Wow, those are some really dark black clouds in the sky.”

Her husband, seated on the passenger side, looked to the west and said, “Wow, look at the brightness that the sun is showing in contrast to the darkness!”

We all looked at one of the most beautiful displays of the beginning of a sunset. The darkness of the clouds highlighted the sun and its streams of light in such a glorious way. It was truly breathtaking. (see pictures above)

I was immediately reminded of how we often look at life. From one perspective we see only black, angry clouds that appear to be announcing foreboding news. But, if we turn our gaze toward the Son, an entirely new message of truth and light changes our perspective. It is the message of hope, beauty, light and peace.

This week we, as a nation, turned our gaze to the east and saw the dark cloud of hatred, rage and massacre. It sent the foreboding message that evil resides and that darkness exists, leaving the entire nation with a cold shiver. How can such hate exist?

But some looked the other way: into the Son, and saw such light and beauty. Though many people could only focus on the darkness and attempt to define it, others began to turn their gaze into the heart of God in order to reflect the light that shines even brighter in a darkened sky.

I read message after message of blessing, prayers, love and light sent to the victims and their families. I read about acts of compassion and kindness that shone streams of light into grief that touched our nation. I saw the Body of Christ being light in the midst of darkness, and it was beautiful. It touched our nation and touched the heart of our Father.

This is not to say that there were not those who behaved badly or focused on the darkness and then tried to explain or describe it. I am sure that there were many. But for whatever reason I could only see the beauty of the compassion that was flowing from the heart of those who understand that we are called to grieve with those who grieve and be light in the darkness (Romans 12:15; Matthew 5:14-16).

Although I am describing the atmosphere in our nation the past few days, this is also a truth in our individual lives that will serve us well. When darkness seems to overshadow your sight, turn your gaze the other way. Turn to the Son where His light will shine even brighter in your darkened sky. As you look toward Him in the midst of your dark circumstance His light will stream into your view and change your whole perspective. Everything will change.

The interesting thing is that right after our family had spent a few minutes in awe of this glorious sunset, we once again looked to the east where the darkness had been so dark and a vibrant rainbow had appeared. It was the promise of hope and of life. It was a beautiful reminder that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not violence nor death nor demons!

Romans 8:38-39 states,
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is a promise for Orlando, for those affected by this dark tragedy and for each one of us who have been created. No darkness can separate us from His love. He is promising Orlando an outpouring of His love. He is promising you that for every dark sky  you face, if you will turn your gaze, you will see His beauty and His promises will overcome the darkness as you behold His beauty.
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