Camera Obscura

Saturday, September 15, 2007
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Job 28:24 – For he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. (NIV)

At the top of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, there is a tall building in which resides the famous Camera Obscura. Thousands of people each year walk up the lofty stairs to the tower to gather in a small, dark room around a large circular table. Just as their eyes are getting used to the dimly lit room, a wonderful thing happens: light boldly shines out of the table, showing a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. The table is not a table at all; it is a large lens, and it displays a mirror image of most of old Edinburgh.

People gasp as they watch the scenery unfold: the castles, the palaces, the gardens, great gothic churches, and classical Greek buildings — all are clearly displayed on the Camera Obscura. It is an amazing event, giving each spectator a never-to-be-forgotten view of the whole city. The participants go home with a sense of wonder in their hearts. They didn't just experience a bird's eye view of the old city; they felt that they had been given a God's-eye view of the people and places of Edinburgh. They saw the divine bigger picture.

In the book of Job, we're often confronted with this idea of God knowing everything and seeing the bigger picture all of the time. We get so caught up in our own lives, troubles, and issues that we forget that God is looking after the whole of humanity, not just ourselves. We think that we see clearly what needs to be done to fix the world and heal the earth, but only God knows what is required. Instead of advocating for political groups, justice organizations, or personal rights, we should ask ourselves this first: What does God see that needs to be changed? Perhaps the answer to that question will be something like: He needs to change me first.

Prayer: Lord God, for countless generations, You have watched over our people. You have seen kingdoms rise and fall. You have experienced the clashing of civilizations and the changing of cultures across the globe. Throughout all of those events and times, You have never abandoned or forsaken us. Speak to our hearts today, and let us know what You want us to do with our lives. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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