“The ceiling in Brenda’s main room is quite high and natural log – it is beautiful.”
I listened to Dad recount our field trip from Dallas to my new house in East Texas. His first comment about the house complimented the ceiling? How about the wood floors, the well-appointed kitchen, the spacious rooms in nearly 4,000 square feet? How could my always aware Dad comment on the ceiling?
This adventure occurred four weeks before his death. We loaded into the handicap van with him well-supported in his Barton Chair which was a combination of gurney and wheelchair. He endured the two and a half hour drive to see my next stop. The unspoken assumption was: “After Brenda is no longer a caregiver she will sell the Dallas house and move to the Piney Woods.” Neither of us ever voiced the words, but we each understood.
Our team of helpers helped me roll him in through the garage and into the main room. I positioned him in the “power corner” where he held court. Invited friends all took turns sharing stories, laughing, listening, gleaning wisdom, all the while knowing this would surely be an earthly goodbye-for-now. The Chair was positioned to give him as much comfort as possible while enabling him to rest which meant he remained for the most part in the gurney position. Unable to move around the house he maintained the same place for the sentimental journey afternoon.
Reflecting on the time as I listened to him on the phone the ah-ha happened. It hit me – that was what he saw. He was on his back looking up for most of the time. THAT WAS HIS PERSPECTIVE.
The Lord graciously kept my mouth shut. I didn’t rebuke him for the description of my new house. He was expressing the highest compliment – he was describing with great pleasure what he saw.
Perspective is personal; perspective is private; perspective is precious. How we view situations, people, or experiences flows through our own circumstances. To criticize another without considering all the facts is diminishing their value.
Understanding another’s perspective allows us to recognize their viewpoint. We may still wonder why a beautiful ceiling is their major point, but maybe we will stop and see through their eyes.