Putting on New Lenses: Learning to See as God Sees

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In addition to valuable workforce development, ministry interns at Kingdom Camp also participate in daily spiritual formation activities. Our theme for the two weeks is “Putting on New Lenses: Learning to See as God Sees.” We started our formation time on Monday thinking about Matthew 6:22-23, where Jesus says

 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

While somewhat cryptic at first pass, Jesus seems to be saying that our view of the world (our “eye”) is really important to everything else. We compared it to wearing sunglasses all the time–everything seems dark. But if we get our vision right, our “lenses,” then things start to make more sense.

With that as our jumping off point, we turned to Genesis and the story of God making the world and humanity’s unwillingness to live within the good world and boundaries God had set. We noted the care and intentionality behind creation, its order and thoughtfulness. The creator made something wholly good and perfect. As we turned to the fall, questions about everything from animals talking to the struggle for women’s equality to free will and the choice to obey came up–our interns are hungry for deep conversation about Scripture. While the Scripture study was led by a director, our interns really did the work of observing and questioning the meaning of the text.

On day 2, we moved from theoretical to practical. What about where we live? What beauty is here? Are there signs of brokenness? How does God see the places we live? How does God see us? Does God see only our past? Our present? Or does God see all that we could be?

With these questions in mind, our interns took to the streets of Deanwood to walk the heritage trail. With 14 different stops, the Deanwood trail explores the rich history of this historically black neighborhood that once had its own amusement park, theater, and much more. Interns were challenged to try to see the neighborhood as God sees it, not simply as it is or was.

We ended our day reflecting on the tension between what was, what is, and what could be. Though we see those things imperfectly, God knows best what once was (a perfect creation), what is (our brokenness), and what will be (a new creation). As our week progresses, we will look at God’s response in the Bible to the way things are. What, ultimately, will God do about a broken world? Where do we fit in?


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It was really interesting to see some of the richness of Deanwood’s history that I never knew before.


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