One of my favorite classes in all of my years of going to school was biology and microbiology. Now I wouldn’t be what you would call a science geek, but I was fascinated with how living things looked up close. One thing in particular that I remember about my classes was the use of a microscope. It helped you to see things you wouldn’t normally be able to see with the naked eye. I was able to see organisms moving under the lens as well as the smallest detail of a cat muscle or organ. (Yes, a cat! We worked with that one cat for an entire two semesters in my biology class.) It was exciting to see things so clear, up close and personal and then to be able to make connections, determine outcomes or draw conclusions.
The same can be said for a mirror in the sense that you can see the smallest details up close. Depending on the type of mirror you are using, e.g. a magnifying mirror often used to apply makeup, things can be magnified for you to see even the tiniest details, including all your imperfections. The only difference between a mirror and a microscope is that in one you are usually looking at yourself and with the other you are looking at something else. Both things, however, can give you perspective.
During my brief break from social media several months back, I found myself in Matthew 7:1-5. The Lord had me zero in on verses 3-5. In that moment, He also handed me two objects.
Yup. You guessed it.
A microscope and a mirror.
Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.~Matt. 7:3-5 (AMP)
At the time, I had just learned some pretty heavy stuff -painful to be specific-about people close to me. What was blatantly clear was their faulty thinking, which contributed to the poor choices in life. It was so easy to judge them. Yet as I left the conversation and had more time to think about what all this meant for me, I began to wonder.
Why did the Lord allow me to have this conversation with this person?
What was the purpose?
What was I supposed to do now with the information I had learned?
The two objects I was handed were purposeful in light of this new information shared with me. God used the mirror, first, in order for to see and remove the log from my own eye. It was a call for me to repent as God began to show me the ways in which I was similar to the person in my thinking and in the way I chose to live my life at one point. He showed me myself several years ago. (Don’t believe me? You can read for yourself here and I am still a work in progress.)
The microscope was used to give me a better a view of the very specific, smallest details that contributed to the current state of the person’s life, i.e. the speck in their eye. Yet, it was not for me to judge the person, but to learn how to pray more intentionally and specifically for God to intervene.
Have you ever been in a space/relationship with a person and you have a front row seat in their life? In other words, you get to see the inner details of his/her life and all the microscopic stuff that other people may not see or know about the person, essentially the good, the bad and the ugly?
Have you ever wondered why?
Why the Lord has allowed you to be privy to such intimate details of a person’s life?
Perhaps it could be so that God can use the mirror to show you (or magnify) any logs in your own eyes first so that you can repent or thank Him that you are no longer who you used to be.
When He allows you the privilege of a microscopic view into a person’s life or shows you areas in their lives where there are specks, it is not for you to judge them, but to take it back to Him in prayer. Use the information to pray purposefully, intentionally and specifically.
It is very easy to draw conclusions, to make connections or determine outcomes based on what we see or hear about someone, even if it is from the person directly. I am sure others have done the same to you as they wonder why you are waiting.
But before you begin to judge someone or draw your own conclusions, first use the mirror to make sure you don’t fall into the same category. If you are privileged to have microscopic details into the person’s life or situation, whether they shared it with you personally or not, use it as an opportunity to go before the Lord on his/her behalf.
And remember, God is the only One who always has the full picture, the bird’s eye view and the whole story.