Family Friday: Never Let Go Jack…Icebergs That Can Be Avoided

I have come to depend upon my eyes way too much.

No kidding. Every day I wake up, yawn, stretch, start looking around and constantly believe that what I see is ….well,…..true,…. just because I see it.

Somewhere along the way I fell in with a bad crowd, that mob that cries out silly phrases like “seeing is believing” and “what you see is what you get”. It was so easy to get sucked in, to become sold on the lazy and presumptuous idea that just because I observe a person, place or thing, I understand its meaning.

Yep, no doubt about it, I have Iceberg Eyes.

I’m a conceited captain who, drifting the ocean of my life, peers through the spyglass of my perception at glacial islands that dot the seascape, and just because I see the icy tips, I’m convinced that I see the whole iceberg. I simply disdain/ignore the reality that the major part of each ice-water mountain is covered, hidden by deep waters, un-attainable to my view and comprehension.

And I tend to see my fellow man with those same eyes. Iceberg Eyes.

As the supposed “Captain of my life”, I meander through each day and take a look at the people around me, casually meting out judgments like Zeus tossing lightning bolts from my own personal Olympus.

A see a lady dressed in sweats screams at her kids in the store, pushing a stroller with one hand and a shopping cart with the other.

She is a “shrew”.

A tatted-up kid blaring noise he calls music while filling the gas tank of his 72 Chevy truck.

He is a “punk”.

Two women and a young man, all well dressed, approach my door on a Saturday afternoon in 103 degree heat and I think, “Uh oh, religious fanatics don’t answer the bell”.

But Iceberg Eyes are not exclusive in their power to judge just the negative. Oh no, not by a long shot!

I see a neighbor in his brand new car, shuffling off to Aspen for vacation with his pretty wife and 2 beautiful children and I know that he has it made and is happier than I.

I watch a church leader and know he is always spiritual, a successful businessman and know he is must be capable at everything, or a Brady Bunch family and I know they never have any problems.

Yep, I am a Know It-All! Lord Grand High Poobah of what is right and wrong. I have a Master’s Degree in “How Things Are Supposed To Be”.

Give me a nickel’s worth of information and I will give you a dollar’s worth of advice. Ask me the time, and I’ll tell you how to build a watch.

I’m a mind reader, a director, a judge and a jury. I see all, so I know all.

I have Iceberg Eyes.

In my arrogance, I believe I can understand someone by how they look or what they do, or what they say. But hasn’t science proven that visual proof is the weakest proof of all? Yet one glance and I’ve got the situation labeled, defined and shelved.

Iceberg Eyes are the epitome of sloth.

Thomas Carlyle said, ”Before we censure a man for seeming what he is not, we should be sure we know what he is.”

But admit it…… it’s hard work, very hard work, to try and truly understand someone. For me to understand another person takes aggressive listening, constant deflation of my own ego (ouch!) and time, time, time!

Forget that! So much easier to shoot out a drive by judgment and close the case on another human being.

When I think I know another person based solely upon what I see, I tend to filter out a few small considerations…. Like, say….I don’t know….genetics, culture, personal history, parents, family, friends, health, religion, finances, prejudice, obstacles they have overcome, etc. You know,…… those events and things that truly create who we are, the hidden foundations upon which the edifice of our personality is formed. Things the eye cannot see.

Minor details.

Even the Bible says, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature …( or on his dress, or on his church or on his tattoos or on his hairstyle or on the car he drives, or on his children or the way he talks)….”for the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”

Let someone, however, try to label or judge me in the slightest and oh how I shake my fist and demand that they take a look at the “whole situation”! That they empathize and understand and are patient with me and give me a break and back-off and let me explain and cut me some slack and walk a mile in my shoes!

Having Iceberg Eyes is akin to looking through the telescope of grace backwards.

All mercy for me – all justice for you.

So, what is the cure? How do I rid myself of this spiritual malady?

I can’t.

At least not by myself, for alone I just don’t have sufficient power.

I’m helpless to make the intrinsic emotional and spiritual re-arrangements necessary to change the way I see life. Just as a physician cannot perform self surgery for his own heart problem, I cannot self- perform the operation essential to healing the eyes of my heart.

I must have help from outside, from something with power greater than me. I need an “inner eye” operation from the Master Surgeon.

My willingness, the humility to see things and people and places differently, is the key to change.

I must let some power beyond me first prescribe new glasses for me and then be willing to wear them.

I must daily ask Him to direct the way I see others.

And change I must!

Seeing a world through the tunnel vision of Iceberg Eyes is to live a life of continual mis-understanding and selfishness.

It means to be in constant hazard of collision with other people. Iceberg Eyes can be dangerous.

Just ask The Titanic.

(Note: This blog was graciously submitted by Kevin Beatty, a friend of a friend with an amazing talent for painting a picture that cuts straight to the heart.  You can follow him on Twitter @TheDadBeatty.  Kevin is passionate about Identity, Family, Addiciton and exposing Prejudice and Judgementalisim.  He is currently touring China with his Family.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Family Friday: Never Let Go Jack…Icebergs That Can Be Avoided

  1. Jerrilyn

    Iceberg eyes… That is so true of all of us. Good words to live by.

  2. cfry43

    Great work! We cannot experience the breakthroughs that come when we are slow to judge, unless we embrace the fear of the Lord, which enables us to see how God sees. Humility benefits from being patient and praying God’s grace over someone instead of slapping a sad, sorry stamp over them. So much of the Golden Rule applies here too…

  3. “Having Iceberg Eyes is akin to looking through the telescope of grace backwards.

    All mercy for me – all justice for you.”

    That was so good! All of it was good, but that was just my favorite part. Perfect comparison!

    It is hard to not judge by what the eyes can see. In a society where status and identity and VALUE are defined by ONLY things that can be seen, beyond even just our own nature to sort and catagorize people, it must be a real effort on our part to make the adjustment. God has really pushed me in the area of expecting everything from myself and nothing from others. This definitely helps in the judging department. If I’m not expecting anything from people, then I’m more inclined to accept people the way they are. It’s much easier to separate behavior and sin from people and hearts that way too. Not to write a whole blog in the comments section, but one thing that I think is imperative for all of us to accept is NO ONE is any more or less capable of anything. Conversely, our sin nature, our flesh, if unattended is capable of every horrible act imaginable or unimaginable. Our spirit man, if allowed to be cultivated by God, is conversely capable of the greatest acts of generosity and selflessness. The former should pull us into mercy and grace for others and latter should push us into becoming all that Christ has called us to be…. Him in the earth. I digress.

    I noted that there was a twitter account referenced… but there must be a
    blog out there somewher in the blogosphere… Produce said link. 🙂

    • Kevin Beatty

      No blog site at this time for me. Never actually considered it. But thank you so very much.
      The greatest battles in life are fought within the silent chambers of our own souls. There lies the conflict between the child of God that I am and the natural man the “world” would have me be.
      How I perceive others is an outward manifestation of that inward war.

      Thanks again!

  4. Stacey

    This is one of my favorites! So proud of you dad 🙂 you have a truly amazing gift and such a unique way of writing and I’m so glad to see it touch others!! Keep on writing! Love you!

  5. This is a GREAT piece Kevin. Very rarely do I want to read a post a second time. Really well written. Now you got me thinking… Ha Ha.
    Thanks bro.

    P:S- Lyssah, maybe we can use this as a guest post on my blog sometime? Or if you can get Kevin to write something else. Love his ‘voice’.

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