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Theology in the Trenches

Farmers Independent of Bagley, Minnesota

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Lying ground level, I was enjoying the warm September afternoon. Back pressing upon brick, brick pressing upon earth, and with face up I watched as birds flew sky high. I had never poised myself as such, and what made me do it this day was perhaps merely the ability to do so. It was that simple. With nothing on my list but to enjoy the moment, I did just that.

The only one to witness the event was my dog. My dog, Lucy, was on hand. (Just for clarity, she's all mine and the only reason others in the family put up with her is because of her connectedness to me. They tolerate her at best.) Anyway, back to the story. Lucy was not only on hand, but she was lying smack dab beside me looking round and about.

As my head turned, I realized it was approximately eye level to my dog's view of the world. Intentionally getting back up on all fours, I could see the blades of grass spreading across the lawn but not much more.

I turned my head to the right. I turned my head to the left. And finally, I looked straight ahead. All around me was a new perspective on my world. Envisioning the ball I'd been tossing to her bouncing atop the grass, scratching along the gravel, and landing on the wooden porch, I suddenly realized that the items she'd been retrieving were seen from a much different vantage point than mine. My view was similar to that of a wide angled lens taking in a full panoramic scene, while hers was more like that of a zoom lens honing in on only one portion of that view.

Even though I innately knew this, it surprised me that it surprised me. It was obvious that I was taller and towered over little Lucy. But I also knew that once the ball had been tossed to her, or anything tossed her way for that matter, she would be obedient to her master. She would fetch. As her little heart beats to please with all of her might and with all of her strength, she demonstrates her love for me.

In all of the years of playing fetch, never once did I bring myself to her level in order to find out what it was like for her. I never walked in her shoes, so to speak. Forgive me, little Lucy, for not understanding your world, for not seeing things from your vantage point, and for always assuming my view was perhaps yours. Thank you for growing my perspective by narrowing down my view.

Matthew 7:14 puts it in perspective. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Help us to see things as You see them, Lord, and not how we perceive them to be. You walked in our shoes and became man. Because you died on the cross for our sins we are now able to see more clearly, from an eternal perspective. What a gift. Amen.



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Original Publication Date: September 23, 2015



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