Windows Open Up Your World
I am a fan of windows. I love light coming in and I love looking out. I enjoy feeling like I’m outside while comfortable in my air conditioning (I do live in Florida). So newer houses in Florida are great—lots and lots of windows.
I especially love my Florida room—it is almost all windows. We can look out into the woods behind our home, watch the raccoons sneaking after the cat food, listen to the frogs and alligators and enjoy the deer who often nap in our back yard.
Windows for Mind and Heart
I am also a fan of windows for the mind and heart—to let light in, to welcome new ideas, to shake up thinking, to foster dreams.
There is a danger in my place in life of closing the blinds and drawing the shades. I serve/lead in a ministry—at the headquarters. When you are out in “the field” where you daily encounter those you want to engage with the gospel, you can’t help but keep some windows open. You interact daily with people who have different ideas, worldviews, beliefs, perspectives.
My days, however, are spent with women and men who mostly believe as I do, who are committed to the same values, the same purpose, the same God. We might think we know the Light and have the light, so we don’t need windows.
But we do. We need let God shine His light into the recesses of our hearts and minds, unveiling depths of His love and character and desire for redemption and reconciliation. I need to admit that I do not know it all and that I desperately need for God to keep enlightening me with His very different way of thinking.
Reading Brings Light
A major window for me is reading. Books—old and new, deeply theological or profoundly personal—pull up the shades, throw back the shutters and open wide the windows of my mind and heart. Good writing expands, enlarges, enlightens—I am challenged with new thoughts and attitudes and opportunities.
People with Different Perspectives
A recent great source of light for my mind and heart has been time in the blogosphere. As I read broadly, my thinking is broadened and my love is stretched. So I intentionally read authors I know I probably don’t agree with, as well as those I resonate with on most issues. And oh how God has used these new sources of light to reveal more of Himself and how He wants to live though me in this world.
Encountering New Situations
For a reader/writer/introvert like me, I could easily stay indoors, with open windows, and think I am getting all the light I need. But God knew better. So he sent a son to us who opened doors and windows to us that we would never have thought we would enter.
These have been dark places—places of abuse and abandonment, of poverty and crime and addiction, of desperate moms and their fatherless children, of homelessness and hopelessness. My glimpses into these shadows have brought new light to my eyes. In these murky places God has shown me the light of His love—and asked me to be a window to let his light in to dispel the gloom.
Traveling to New Places
My job takes me all over the world, so I have had my mind and heart expanded as I have engaged with people from different cultures, diverse traditions, other religions. But I can also find the same opportunities down the street or around the corner in my community. Recently I have had numerous conversations with homeless people, truly opening new windows in my life.
For me, and I hope for you, opening windows to the streaming light of God illuminates how God wants to use us. We see open doors we had never noticed and we have the courage to venture through them.
Of course, then the battle intensifies, and the Prince of Darkness spreads his black clouds. Gratefully the Holy Spirit of God sends Holy Light to enable us to stand strong—up on the windowsill, ready to fly.
So open the windows! Can you feel the fresh air? Can you hear God better? What is He saying? Do you see the door opening on a bold path? Will you step through and risk it?
He can see the future and He promises to go with you.
What about you? Are your windows open? What do you see?
C2013 Judy Douglass