You’ve Got to See This!

By Rev. Dr. Rick Jordan

Recently, my wife and I spent a week with our son and daughter-in-law, Todd and Stacey, in Utah. One night, while he was grilling some steaks, Todd heard an owl call. He rushed into the house with the cooked steaks saying, “I heard an owl and I think it is across the street! I’m going to look.” I jumped up to join him. It is rare to see an owl. They make no sound when they fly and they are most active at night, when most human beings are inside.

We crossed the street to the church parking lot. Todd thought he might have seen movement on a telephone pole. As he focused his binoculars in that direction, I noticed a movement in my peripheral vision. I looked that way and sure enough, an owl was soaring at about head height above the parking lot. It went into some trees in a neighbor’s yard and we couldn’t see it anymore.

At about 6 am the next morning, I awoke. I glanced outside to check the weather. The backyard had a small square-foot garden. It was dark, but I could make out the two squares. Then, I saw it! The owl! It was standing on one of the corners of the garden. I grabbed my phone and took a picture. It moved its head just a little. I wanted my wife to see it before it flew off. I woke Susan, “You’ve got to come see this! The owl is in the backyard!” “The what? Where?” she said as she was waking. “Hurry,” I said, “It won’t be there long!” So she joined me at the window.

“Where?” she asked. “Right there at the corner,” I pointed. “That?” she said, “that’s not an owl. That’s a statue of an owl.” “No, it’s not a statue. I saw its head move. Look, it’s opening its beak.” “No, it’s not. That is a statue and I’m going back to bed.” I let the skeptic go back to bed as I waited for the bird to catch a mouse or a mole or to fly off looking for some other morsel. By this time, the sun was just beginning to rise. The owl began looking less and less real. Turns out, it was a statue. I guess I saw what I wanted to see.

I’ve known parents who saw their child as an angel who could do no wrong, while others dreaded being around the little devil. I’ve known teenagers who are warned by their parents of red flags the parents have seen in new friends – but the youth dismiss the warnings. I’ve visited in churches that saw themselves as friendly. Yet, no one greeted me before or after the service. A pastor told me recently of his serving his church for three years – a church that sees itself as hospitable. Yet, in three years, no one has invited him and his family out for a meal. I’ve been in churches that insist they are evangelistic, yet the only new attendees or members are transfers from sister churches.

We see what we want to see. The owl’s head moved. Didn’t it?

At other times, we don’t see what is in plain view to others. We all have blind spots. What are yours? What are your church’s?

These thoughts are from Rev. Dr. Rick Jordan, our partner based out of Lewisville, North Carolina. He is a 20+-year member of Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC where he leads an adult Bible study, serves as a deacon, as Personnel Council chairperson, and on the Vision Navigation Team. He has also served in various roles from local churches to state and national leadership. Contact him for more information on how our partner can help you.

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