There is a new Hillsong United worship song out called, “Wonder.” It is so good. It’s message is about how vision changes when it encounters the divine. And then it calls out to you the listener, asking you if you have ever seen such a thing:
Have you ever seen the wonder/
In the glimmer of first sight/
As the eyes begin to open/
And the blindness meets the light/
If you have so say/
I see the world in light/
I see the world in wonder/
I see the world in life/
Bursting in living color/
I see the world Your way/
And I’m walking in the light
I was raised in a church where divorce was viewed through a black and white lens. No gray. No in-between. No exceptions. Just hard and fast rules.
So when divorce entered the picture in my own family, this was the lens at which I saw it through. I desperately wanted concrete answers from God. The situation was tricky and immensely complicated. No one was innocent. We all had a part to play. But my upbringing influenced me to overlook the gray. To forget the in-between, to forget the stories and the pain both my parents and the people involved were carrying and to label this as a very bad thing.
And label I did.
For a very long time, the divorce, the thing that disrupted our family unit was all bad. The lens which I saw it through only reflected back feelings of heartbreak, betrayal, and hypocrisy.
These feelings were not just the aftermath and the process of grief and grieving a family unit that was no more; these feelings became a permanent way of how I saw things and people. I became blinded by my own pain and my own self-consumed mind really believed that was all there was to see.
Almost nine years ago, I stood on a beach and watched as my dad and stepmom got married. And my heart broke. Through the lens at which I was watching the ceremony through, this marked the final sealing of a chapter for the parents who raised me. And it hurt like hell. I didn’t understand it and quite frankly I didn’t want anything further to do with it. I was not quiet with my thoughts and I was cruel with my tongue.
There was no trust, no hope, just anger and resentment.
My parents' pain didn’t matter. My stepmom’s pain didn’t matter. It was just about me—how I saw, how I felt.
I would love to tell you that when faith, grace,and surrender entered the equation that this lens through which I saw the world instantly changed. But it didn’t. Instead, what began was the Lord turning that lens around and slowly revealing that that finger I was pointing at everyone else with…well, there really were only more fingers pointing back at me.
I was the problem. My heart had the issues. My black and white thinking had created my own throne from which I was ruling and judging those around me and the Lord basically said, “No more looking through the world with this lens. It has to fall. All of it."
He reminded me that we all deserve judgment. That we are all worthy of condemnation. A sin is a sin and there’s no one on this earth who is immune to that fact. All of us are in desperate need of grace and God's redeeming love.
With time both maturing in my faith and my marriage, I have learned nothing is black and white. Faith is child-like and incredibly simple yet blurry and complex all at the same time.
My dad and stepmom celebrate their nine year anniversary next week.
They say time flies when you are having fun, but what’s scarier is how quickly time goes by when you are angry and hurt. No one warns you of the risk of going blind. No one warns you of the severity of how dangerous too much time spent in these emotions can be. These feelings don’t go away overnight. I had to feel them, maybe you need to feel them. But they also cannot become permanent fixtures either.
Slowly but surely my black and white thinking has dissipated. But it has not been easy. My sight started to see the gray. That everyone in this world is carrying pain and suffering and really at the end of the day we are all trying our best. Those black and white colors slowly and steadily started to merge together, the two colors no longer were clear and in their defined space. The lines were blurred.
And then, in what now seems like overnight, there was color. His color. Radiating color from some of the most darkest of places. These spaces, people, and events were now comprised of the most beautiful compilation of differing shades and tones. And when I started to take a step back, I realized the Lord…well, He’s really, really good at combining colors. He is good at painting a masterpiece. He is good, the best actually, at combining varying conflicting forces and transforming them to the most spectacular work of art.
But you will never be able to see it through a black and white lens; the lens of your own, natural site.
A piece of the inspiration behind Hillsong’s “Wonder” is the below video. It is short, and I promise you it is worth the watch. It captures perfectly what happens when someone’s sight is changed, when living color can finally be experienced.
To my Dad and Cindy, I can wholeheartedly respond to the lyrics of that song and say I have seen the wonder. And a part of that wonder is you. That wonder has been your marriage. That wonder is found in acknowledging the reality that God’s plan is always better, always sweeter, and your marriage is a profound testament to that.
Cindy: You are one of the best things that ever happened to my dad. And you are one of the best, most beautiful things that ever happened to me. I am forever grateful for you.
Dad: I am so proud of you and the man that you are-as a believer, as a husband, as a Father, and as a friend.
To you both: I am just so sorry it took so long for me to put on the right “lenses.”
Cheers to the next nine, you two. I love you both with my whole and thankfully no longer color-blind heart.
Please take a moment to watch the below. May our hearts and eyes long to embrace the color of the Lord and His workings.