What do you think when you see this little blue guy?
I asked some middle school kids that question. Hands went up, signaling a number of insightful comments. The sign reminded some of friends or family members. A few said they wondered about the people who needed those parking spaces. One appreciated that we care enough to provide this simple aid for folks in need.
After they seemed about finished, one boy who might have been a stand-in for Dennis the Menace raised his hand.
“Technically, the little guy’s white. The background is blue.”
We all chuckled as he protested that he was just being observant.
As I mentally de-briefed the presentation, I was reminded why I liked working with kids. And I also wondered if he understood how much insight he’d demonstrated.
I’ve looked at that symbol hundreds of times in dozens of different settings, and I always think of “the little blue guy.” I never noticed that he’s not really blue.
How often do we all do a similar thing with our perceptions? We get an idea in our heads, and that’s just the way it is. We react so automatically to the perception that we no longer even see the details.
I think that was one of Jesus’ central messages, especially to the religious leaders. They “knew” so much that they couldn’t see Truth standing right in front of them. They felt so threatened by His fresh perspective that they killed Him.
How often do I become so entrenched in my thinking that I fail to see simple Truth right in front of me? How many times do I persist in convoluted logic to preserve my treasured ideas?
How many times do I fail to hear the beauty of Jesus loves me, this I know because I’m too busy being smart and sophisticated?
God promises a new beginning, a fresh start, a cleansed heart. But to really experience that promise, we need fresh thoughts as well.
What perception do you cling to? Maybe it’s refusal to forgive, a grudge or an old wound. Perhaps it’s a prized political or social viewpoint, or a pattern of thoughts you’ve carried since childhood.
What about those most dangerous notions, the ones so close to the target that they keep us away from genuine center? Are you focused on something almost-but-not-quite true north?
I’ll likely continue to refer to “that little blue guy.” It’s a bit more lyrical somehow than “that little white guy.”
But I’ll never see the blue guy quite the same. A twelve-year-old pointed to simple truth I couldn’t see with my educated eyes.
I have a feeling that Jesus is inviting us to look—and see—more frequently with twelve-year-old eyes.
Do you cling to any perceptions that might keep you from seeing the simple Truth?