Friday, May 26, 2017

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Optical Illusions

My friend Rosemary freaked me out this week.

I was working in the infant room at Allison Little Lambs and she stopped in for a second when Alice was picking up her baby, Olivia. The three of us chatted for a few minutes, and then Rosemary pointed and said, "Who's over there?"

We glanced over to where she was pointing and Alice said, "Oh, that's my son, Steven." (He's three and came in with mom to help pick up his sister.)

"No," Rosemary said, "I know him. I mean the other kid."

I was immediately confused because Olivia was the last baby to be picked up that day.

"What other kid? It's just Steven."

"No," she insisted adamantly. "He's right over there. He's hiding!"

Okay, now I started to get goosebumps and my mind was racing to try to remember if I actually had one more kid that hadn't been picked up yet. (I'm sure all of you remember how many times I've left the oven on and forgotten about it, right?) 

No, I did the math. There shouldn't be any kids hiding in the corner.

Alice agreed. "Where?!" we asked as we stared where Rosemary was pointing.

Finally, (and I really can't remember who figured it out first) the mystery was solved. "It's a mirror!"

All of us burst out laughing as we realized that she had seen Steven's legs in the mirror on the side of one of the cupboards and she honestly thought another kid was hiding back there.

My thanks to Deanne's grandson Devon for helping me reenact the "mystery child" situation.
Whew! I hadn't forgotten about a child after all. I was so relieved, and every time I thought about it after that I started laughing again.

Rosemary sounded so sure, she had Alice and me believing (almost) that someone was there. But it was just an optical illusion.

It got me thinking the rest of the week about how many times we get alarmed or upset because of someone else's misperception. 

They see danger and tell us all about it and we get scared, too, even if there really isn't anything to be afraid of.

A friend goes on and on about how unkind another woman is and it clouds our perception of that person, even though she's been nothing but kind to us.

We read hatred into someone's actions even though it may have just been an honest mistake.

We have to keep our eyes wide open and choose to believe the best about people. 

And always look out for mirrors.

"Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion; wise realists plant their feet on the ground." (Proverbs 14:18 The Message)

Have you ever been fooled by an optical illusion? How can focusing on God help you to see past the illusions and understand what is really happening in the world around you? 

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