Sunday, December 26, 2010

Magic Eye Dolphins

Remember the “Magic Eye” pictures? The pictures that looked like nothing but squiggly lines and random images? If you stared at the picture in just the right way, viola! A 3-D image emerged.
Jesus is so obvious in my life. How do the unbelievers just not see Him? Ok, so once upon a time, in what my friends like to call their B.C. days (Before Christ – most of us lived those days!), I was right there -- not “seeing” Him, too. Now that I know Him, though, it’s truly flabbergasting and bang-your-head-against-the-wall frustrating trying to communicate with people who just don’t get it. They do not know what they do not know.
While sharing Christmas with my children, husband (who believes in whatever he believes in his own way), my mother-in-law (who is spiritual like Oprah is spiritual) and uncommitted father-in-law, it suddenly dawned on me that the way I see Jesus is rather like those Magic Eye pictures.
About 15 years ago, I saw my very first stereogram picture. Because she likes dolphins, my sister-in-law and her husband had a rather nice picture hanging in their living room consisting of an empty body of water with some illustrated fish and seaweed growing in a border around the edges. The picture had been on their wall for several months. Ken, the husband, says, “There’s supposed to be a hidden picture in there if you stare at it, but we haven’t seen anything.”
Intrigued, I got up to gaze at the picture. I discovered if I stared at the reflection off the glass rather than at the picture itself, several swimming dolphins emerged in the field of empty ocean. It was so cool! Ken, being the succinct person that he is, jokingly told me to carnally exit his home. He found it annoying that I was able to see something in a matter of minutes that they had not been able to seen in months.
I shared my method of staring with my husband, Steve. After a few minutes, his comment was an understated, “Whoa!”
Even more annoyed, Ken decided he’d try looking for the swimming dolphins once again. Armed with the trick of staring at the glass, he was finally able to view the 3-D image of the swimming dolphins. It took Michelle, my sister-in-law, awhile longer, but in the next few days, she too learned to see the images hidden within Magic Eye pictures.
All those months, the dolphins were right there in their living room, yet my in-laws were blind to them. Once revealed, they were awed at the hidden beauty and depth of their picture.  After they knew how to see the dolphins, they could not make their eyes return to the way they were before. When they looked at the picture, it was so easy, so obvious that they couldn’t not see the dolphins.
Seeing Jesus is much like a Magic Eye picture. Once the truth of Jesus is discovered, you can’t make yourself blind again.
Some people are so awed by His grace and mercy that they decided to dedicate their lives staring at and seeking out more stereogram pictures with new hidden images and depths to explore.
Some people see the hidden picture, but decide to either ignore the image or just move it out of their lives all together. There are those who look into the picture and don’t like the image or it doesn’t fit their desires or expectations. Maybe there’s an old book of stereogram images around somewhere, but it’s so 90s. Magic Eye pictures can be ignored, but the knowledge of their hidden 3-D images remains.
Some people are satisfied with a picture of empty water, never searching it for anything beyond its most basic appearance. These people never will know the hidden depths, because they choose not to look. There are those that think the picture is good enough on the surface. Searching into the depths requires too much effort for others.
Some people never have the opportunity to view a Magic Eye picture. Whether through cultural and parental choices in upbringing, or missed opportunities from those too timid to share their knowledge of Magic Eye images, some will never know the wonder of a hidden 3-D image of swimming dolphins.
I see the dolphins. I cannot not see the dolphins. I want to see the dolphins and other more exciting and in-depth images beyond dolphins. I would never want to return to eyes that are unable to perceive the dolphins. Without dolphins, the picture is just empty water, cold, lifeless and purposeless.
Do you see the dolphins?

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