When I was in middle school, my dad gave me one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received. Noticing my burgeoning interest in biology, with great thoughtfulness and sacrifice my dad gifted me his microscope from medical school. He set up a dark room where I spent hours examining the organisms I found in a nearby stream. Examining the water through the lens of my new microscope, the fluttering filaments of paramecium and squirming amoebas captivated me. I was filled with a sense of wonder.

The water I examined under that microscope was the same water I saw from the side of the stream. But no matter how long I would have stared at the water from above, I would never have experienced that sense of wonder. Only through a new lens could I get a glimpse into the hidden world of amoebas and paramecium. Little did my dad, or I, know that the gift of a new lens would be the first step on a journey to medical school and a career as a dermatologist.

Just a few years ago, I received a gift of another new lens. The lens of the gospel.

Rather than a reduced notion of faith that had guided my experience previously, the gift of a new lens enabled me to see God’s grand story. A story that unfolded not a path of religious performance for a remote God, but a four-chapter story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.

The same water of God’s truth that I had only experienced in a reduced way from the side of the stream was illuminated in a glorious new vision that drew me into something more amazing than I had ever seen before.

I yearn for others to see through a new lens into the grand story of life with God – to go beyond the dim view of the kingdom of God into a newly illuminated view of the rich ways that God is at work – ways that we’ve never even imagined.

Today, my role as a servant of Christ is to help give people an imagination of the possibilities of what they might see if they look through a new lens. I offer myself to others in that process, that they might be captured by a sense of wonder with the world waiting to be discovered beneath the surface of God’s living water.

How has a new lens helped you to see differently? I’d love to hear your answer in the comments below.


Shauna Schneider
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