If you look around, it’s quite easy to see a variety of possibilities. Through one lens, you see nothing but depression, destruction, devastation, and division. Anger lurks around every corner, outrage is just bubbling to the surface waiting for one more drop of negativity to create an overflow—pouring over everything and everyone, destroying every ounce of optimism in its path. Through this lens, everything looks bleak and uncertain. Through this view, fear is the lens through which one sees the world. It’s generally the most popular view because it doesn’t let one bad thing escape a glance. Every evil is recorded, every murderous moment archived, and every negative consequence used as a metric for expectation. This lens is widely popular among the virtue signalers of the world, most relied on by systems of fairness and justice, and most readily utilized through social media for simplicity and conciseness. It reveals the truth of evil.
There’s another lens, and it’s not the only lens option, but I do recommend it as one of the most reliable lenses out there. It’s the lens of love. It’s not a popular choice because it reveals the truth of love. The application and adjustment of this lens are challenging. It surely doesn’t fit snug over the viewfinder as one would hope. It also requires manual adjustment. I know a lot of people like the fun options wherein you can simply click a few clacks and voila! Snug, airtight seal! But it doesn’t work that way. You must hold it on for a while.
What do you see when you look through this lens? Endless possibilities of grace, growth, and love. You can see it everywhere! It’s like looking at a blossoming tree in the springtime after a long, arctic winter filled with drab whites and blacks—snow and soil for Minnesotans like me. The colors are lush, vibrant, and texturized, as though what you are perceiving with your eyes can also be felt by them. As if sight and touch and taste and smell and sound all collaborate in a symphony of sensations that overwhelm every breath you take. The longer you look through this lens, the more the colors shine, the louder the birds’ chirp, the warmer the sun feels upon your face, the stronger the fragrance of lilacs blowing in the wind, the richer the taste on your tongue.
Instead of seeing the way things are, as one can with the lens of fear, the lens of love shows you the ways things are intended. The way people are intended—for love.
God intended us for love. The intention of our purpose is love. The lens we must use to see all this as a possibility is the lens of love. As I said, it’s a manual lens, one we intentionally place over our viewfinder whenever we look out into the world and search for the truth.
As Danny Prada, pastor of Heartway Church put it:
“The greatest use of your life is love. The greatest expression of love is freedom. The greatest time to love is now.”
The lens of love will only reveal the truth of love to you. And once you see it, you may never go back to the lens of fear again. Right now, we all need to consider swapping out lenses so that we can all see the truth we seek: love.