Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Do You See?

Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God the more of God will be seen in you. Charles Spurgeon

As an old story goes, there were two taxidermists who stopped at the window of a home to observe an owl that was displayed there. They immediately began to criticize the way the owl had been mounted. They also didn’t like the way it’s eyes didn’t look natural and how its head was not in proportion to its body. They continued to observe how its feathers were not neatly arranged and how its feet could be improved. At that point in the discussion, the owl turned its head and blinked at them

While the two taxidermists may have been accurate about their initial observations, they overlooked one huge detail. The owl was not “stuffed.” He was very much alive!

In the mid-1800’s, at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, there was a professor of medicine named Dr. Joseph Bell. Dr. Bell’s students were always amazed at his talent for observation. Simply by noticing small details, he was usually able to determine what his patients did for a living or what illness they might have. Most times, it only took a glance in their direction for him to discern the information.

Once he concluded that a patient had walked across a golf course on the way to the doctor by looking at his shoes. Another time, he knew that a patient had served in the army and even knew which regiment he had served in, just by observing him for a moment.

One of Dr. Bell’s students was extremely impressed with this uncanny ability to notice small details that usually went unnoticed by most people. In fact, he was so impressed that he began to keep a notebook handy, in which he wrote down examples of what he called Dr. Bell’s “eerie trick of spotting details.”

Later this young student became a doctor himself. When business was slow in his office, he spent his spare time writing fictional stories. Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle created a character and gave him Dr. Bell’s powers of perception. Dr. Bell, who impressed many with his ability to determine a great deal about people from simple observation, became the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.

If someone based a fictional character, solely on their observations of you, what would that character’s traits be? Would the character be one of integrity or compromising values? Perhaps the character’s daily life would be too busy to spend time with his or her family. Would the character be confusing, in that their actions would not match with their words?

As a Christian, Christ should be the thing people see in us. Even if they are not a believer, others should at least be able to notice a Christ-likeness in us. Through spending time with our Creator in prayer and study of His Word, we will not simply know more about Him, but begin to think and act as He does. As we go about our daily lives we should always strive to be more like Jesus every day.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did not know Sherlock Holmes was based on an actual person. Wow. Also, ouch. I don't always exemplify Christ.