A Snippet Can Tip It

preachingatvillageYesterday I came home from work to see my wife had hung a bunch of pictures, paintings and photos. I had seen them years before but the last few years since the loss of our home it has been low on the priority list to hang anything up and they were in a closet. So I found it pretty cool. (A while ago someone gave me a word about hanging pictures. I wish I remembered who, but I see they were right.) I looked at them and thought about origins and beginnings. A few years ago I described prophecy as “pictures on the wall”. Jacob came in and he was impressed with Tina’s work as well

So when I awoke this morning the word I was hearing from a dream was “snippets”. I began to think on it. A snippet is but a small piece of something. A puzzle piece. A piece of something larger. I often think “how well” does someone know me. Or I them. Like the new hangings on the wall.

If you walked in my home, you would see that it is neat. That is more a reflection of my wife and her character than it is mine. I benefit from it because I can find things. Unless she has relegated them to the “Lee box” in which case I may be held up looking. (I do understand “a place for everything and everything in a place” it is just for me that the world turns and there is often a new place! When my wife and I had a growing business and ministry things were hectic. She knows how to file. I know how to take things out of a file. The agreement? “When you are done put it on the file cabinet and I will put it away.” Add in I thought a particular file should say “ladies” and she thought it should say “women”… Answer? The “ladies” file had a single piece of paper in it that said “see women” directing me to that file.) Our home the reflection of two people living here.

Now there is wall decor. A painting by her dad. A birthday gift from a friend. A few paintings by another friend. Photos from 20 years ago. But not one gives you more than a snippet of a friendship, a taste, a choice. You might suspect from one I am “conservative” in my thinking. From another I love my family or embrace God. Individually you could assume a story or a perspective but you could not pinpoint me or my wife. You might get a clue from the toys by the stairs. Or the smell of fresh baked cookies. Or my bookshelf.

BUT…without time and relationship you could easily have an inaccurate picture of who we, my wife and I might be.

And that folks is the “rub” for me. Too many chase after a tweet on Twitter or denigrate another predicated upon a Facebook post. (Add in that most people struggle with spelling, whole sentences and the use of text language everywhere and you may never get a whole picture! Yep! I am the guy who thinks 140 characters in a tweet is snippet. A sound byte. And not necessarily reflective of an individual {Unless it means “I don’t care enough about you to engage…”} or organization. Judging people for a word or a misspelling. Come on! That was never worth more than a point for the most part in Miss McGillicutty’s class! I get some people might be evil, bad or racist. (I know more than a few!) But overall…

Lots of things catch fire it seems. (When I was a kid viral was NOT good!) While football means money and the Patriots lost face and pressure this week, how well do you know the quarterback? Any of the players? (The big winners? News outlets! And no one for the most part feels that they can trust them!) “Lee. It is just a sport.” Is that it? Not about people?

Long before my encounter with God there was a time I was pretty partied out sitting in a bar. Conversations. People. While talking to a few policemen, the topic  was of a particular police chase that had nearly hit my car, . (One who was a good friend.) True to my “nature” back then, I made a derogatory comment about the chase and the near accident. Turned out the driver was the fiancee of the officer sitting across from me. I took a “bad snippet” of a person’s life and used it to make a judgment. I knew I was wrong. A few seconds of a life was what I was basing my decision on. (Yes-it was pretty tense. Thank God He transformed my history into His-story!)

The church has done it as well. We like names. God’s names. Speaker’s names. We found the 10 names of Jehovah and fell in love with one or more and never got to know “all” of Him. Jehovah. Without God the healer what value is God the provider? Without His presence what value is His banner? My point is get to know all about Him!We fell in love with Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit and forgot they were one. And much we did without ever developing the relationship to know Him. We relegated Him to a name or a thought process and while that made it easier to talk about it did not describe the relationship. We were out of touch!

I have a friend who works in a big studio in Hollywood. He often shares with me about things “happening” out there in his world of crazy. He was one of the first to let me know his thoughts about the Sony hack. (He works in IT out there.) And recently he told me how upset everyone is over the success of “American Sniper” which leads me to this thought. It appears that Hollywood and the government are microcosms of society, assuming they understand the people but never moving amongst them to get a real feel for what is going on… We can use the words “out of touch” to describe this. But really it comes down to relationship and how well we know someone or they us.

I will still use Twitter and Facebook but at the end of the day I will withhold judgment until we have that conversation. Maybe the snippets will add up and someone really is a jerk. Maybe behind that bad “first impression” is a life that had a bad day. Maybe they are really great! A snippet is but a small piece of the whole. I get we want to fix the smalls. I understand to eat an elephant one bite at a time is preferable. Too often people want to implement a “rip and replace” mentality when the reality of it is some things are just not worth mentioning. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (Unless it affects me in which case it is a REALLY BIG DEAL! Hmmm…)

We will never change our spouse by viewing snippets and missing out on the big picture. We will never overcome family problems without getting to know the whole person. We will never add value to the community if we refuse to participate.

Snippets are cool. Sound bytes can be funny. But to evaluate a whole person or an organization without getting to know someone or something…I am concerned it gets in the way of what God is trying to do. And that is to establish a Kingdom. God is long suffering. And He asks that of us. (Galatians 5) I struggle with scripture without context and I feel the same way about individuals. I want context. Context matters.

As I was closing this I felt the words “long haul” appear. Life is a marathon and not a sprint. Relationships often require the long haul. Let’s major on what is important and give credence to that which is good.

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 “LOVE” does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

One of Abraham Lincoln‘s most outspoken political enemies was a man named Edwin J. Stanton. Stanton called Lincoln a “low cunning clown” and the “original gorilla”. He even said this, “It is ridiculous for people to go to Africa to see a gorilla, when they could find one easily in Springfield, Illinois.” To Lincoln’s credit, he never responded to these insults. Yet, when he was elected President, Lincoln chose Stanton to be his Secretary of War. When asked why, Lincoln said, “Because he is the best man!” Later, when Lincoln had been assassinated, Stanton stood by the coffin which contained Lincoln’s body and said through his tears, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.” Patient love in action won this man over in the end!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Written by Lee Johndrow

Lee Johndrow

Lee is on staff as the Prophetic Ministry Leader at the Village Church where he functions as one of the prophetic grace. (You can visit their site at www.villagechurchswanzey.com)

He is the father of five wonderful children. Married for over 22 years to his wife Tina. 7 grandchildren as of September 22, 2014, with another one on the way! Loving life with family, friends, faith, fun and food!


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