Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.
Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:
The Message paraphrased version by Eugene Peterson
“Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.”
The NIV (New International Version)
“As water reflects a face, so man’s heart reflects the man.”
KJV King James Version
“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.”
Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bibleparaphrased, I found this translation:
“Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another.”
To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.
We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.
Does your face mirror your heart? Or are there cracks in the space between your heart mirror and your face?
Do you see others through a lens of love, or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?
How Do I See Thee and Me?
Do I see thee through a clear lens, a pure heart, a heart of love and compassion?
Ask yourself: Do I see Me the same way? Do I see myself as God sees me? His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child? Am I gentle with myself? Am I open and positive? Do I see the positivity in others?
I see thee dearly. I see me clearly. We are not merely clones; we are beloved, unique children of God.
I love you! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed day!
When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”
So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.
Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.
His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!
Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!
2.It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions
Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.
3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days
Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.
4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry
Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.
My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.
Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…
5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help
Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.
6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes
Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.
As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.
Don’t try to have all the answers.
Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.
It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.
It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.
Just do it! It’s OK…
Thank you for your visit, your comments and your friendship,
We ALL want to make a positive difference in this world – right?
One way to make a difference is simply to be kind and helpful! But there is no “simply” about that.
It takes a concerted effort sometimes to respond with kindness. Our natural, almost automatic, first response when someone is being mean or unkind to us is to snap back… at least that’s the way it used to be with me.
It has taken me 80 years of living to learn to guard my tongue! And sometimes, even now it gets the best of me. But I usually am quick to realize it when that happens, and I am never reluctant to ask for forgiveness.
The problem is sometimes I am too self-centered to even realize I have hurt someone with my words!! That never happen to you, does it?
I guess I’m not perfect yet.
Another way to make a difference is simply to plant love. But there is no “simply” about that either.
Sometimes the seeds of adversity and division get the best of me.
I watch something on TV or I read something in a magazine or newspaper that is hateful or just plain false and deceptive. And I let that simmer in my soul. I want to lash out at the TV person or rip up the newspaper.
But surely that never happens to you!
Just Love One Another
It’s easy to say, but ever so hard to do! But if we want to make a positive difference in this world, it has to be all about LOVE first and foremost!
Be Forgivingof Yourself
Even when we try hard, we may not always be the loving person God intended us to be.
But we can make a difference if we learn to forgive ourselves for those mistakes of character. Others see and are encouraged by our ability to overcome!
Be Forgiving of Others
Another way to make a difference in this world is simply to be forgiving of others. But there is no “simply about that either.
Sometimes I want to use a “mad” icon. “Sad” just doesn’t do it. It’s not enough.
I want to show the world that what was said or done just makes me angry.
But anger never solved any of this world’s problems. It only exacerbates them, ya know?
Forgive the ones who anger you, Pray for your understanding of their position. Try to figure out where they’re coming from. Forgive their ignorance (hah!)!
Disagree without being disagreeable!
Be a PeaceMaker
And yet another way to make a positive difference in this world is to be a PEACEMAKER!
Pray daily for the wisdom,
obedience to God,
and the humility
that it takes to be a peacemaker, and to make a positive difference in this world.
It’s not a task for the Lone Ranger, the Lone Stranger, or the Lone YOU! It takes the LOVE of the HOLY SPIRIT working in you.
Know that God is your heart… so Pay attention to His Leading!
He will always lead you to Love, Peace, and Making a Positive Difference!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’m headed off to TOPS. (Those are my friends who help me keep the weight off. They make a difference in my life!)
This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.
I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.
Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”
The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.
“How much?” Bob asked.
“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!
Aging Like Sea Glass
Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.
External vs. Internal Beauty
I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?
This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)
Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!
Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!
Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow
I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.
You with me?
Ride the waves with me… and share your wisdom, too. How do you feel about aging?