by Rev. Deb Dysert
Last weekend I went to see the opening of a movie called Vantage Point. It was a fantastic movie, pointedly illustrating the lesson that things are not always as they seem. The story explores the assassination attempt of the President of the United States while he is traveling abroad. The viewer experiences this event six times, each through one of the character’s vantage points during the same 45 minute time frame.
Each character sees this horrific event and each one sees their experience as the “truth” of the situation, when in reality the truth is the combination of many vantage points, each one being very integral to the WHOLE picture of the reality around them.
For me the movie was a bold illustration of how we as human beings see our life. We live our individual experiences in the workplace, in our families, as citizens, and moving about our communities. We see the things we experience and get to know the people whose lives intersect with ours and believe that OUR experience is the WHOLE truth of each situation. The reality is that every relationship we have is with a person whose life intersects with many other people besides ourselves. Each one has experiences and “secrets” that we can’t begin to know, and each experience and “secret” impacts the relationship we have with that person.
I think the message of God’s word I struggle with the most is judgment and my eyesight. I believe that as human beings we are very nearsighted. Oh, it is easy for us to see off into the distance when looking at other people and situations and figure out what is wrong and perhaps even make suggestions about possible solutions. However, we have much more difficulty “seeing” the things in our own life and the changes we need to make to be stronger people of faith and strengthen our individual walk of faith. The reality is, I can only be responsible for tightening up MY faith walk and getting myself right with God.
We do not begin to see the WHOLE truth of any situation, unless we are glued to that person’s side, experiencing each thing they do during the day. However, I don’t know about you, but for me I often lose sight of the reality that I am only seeing slices of the big picture. I get caught up in my judgments about the truths I believe in my life. The reality is I need to remember to keep things in perspective. I just see small parts of the world around me. The truth is never just as it seems to me, through my eyes and perceptions.
I am so glad I saw this movie. I pray the illustration it provided me will be a visual reminder that will stick with me the next time I am so sure I “know” the truth of a situation with someone else, where I am beginning to judge based on my vantage point.