Over years of teaching I have met numerous people.
Over years of teaching I have used several gimmicks to create learning moments with students.
One of the most interesting ones I have used is to get people to “see” Jesus in the image above. The point of this is that some students will see Jesus and some will not. It is a common perception exercise. When I would show the above image to a class, sometimes I would kid around. Like a revival preacher I would shout “JEEESSSUUUSSS” and then an amen and a big HALLELUJAH! Students would not only get a kick out of the illusion but also my kidding. Invariably some would see Jesus and others could not.
Then I would point to the image and use my finger to describe His hair, His eyes, His cheekbones and then a couple more would see Him [HALLELUJAH! I would shout]. No one was ever offended and many students knew me as a Christian so they knew I did not mean disrespect.
The exercise made the point that we all don’t experience life the same way. We can’t even see the same image the same way. What are we going to do about this? Appreciate that other people have a different point of view.
One day I remember doing this exercise in a Fort Campbell Kentucky class on the military post. I delivered the material the same way and got the same joyful response and made the same point but an African-American woman came up to me after class and was upset. She said “I have always gone to church, I am a Sunday School teacher and read the Bible and pray every day and I CAN’T SEE JESUS. What is wrong with me?”
I could tell she was upset but I also knew this was not a matter of life and death so I went to a Xerox machine and made her a copy to take home and told her to tape it up on the fridge for a few days.
Guess what, after walking by the image at home numerous times, she saw it.
Next week in class she came up to me and said “I SAW JESUS!” He was there all along.
Pastor Idleman says “I don’t want to spend any part of my life missing out on what He wants me to see now” but maybe we are trying too hard or maybe we are not trying hard enough. I had a friend who had this optimistic motto in life; “Life is hard and then you die.” Wow. That guy did not think there was anything good in life.
I don’t believe that.
I believe the good is here and God wants us to see it NOW.
It is right in front of you……it was there all along.