"Perspective" is a wonderful word but bizarrely it's something that you only understand when you actually have it - it seems to me. Apparantly "Perspective" means;
from Latin perspicere: - "to see through"
Events over the past few weeks or so have most definately caused me to lose perspective on why I'm a nurse at all. I remember well why I took the job at the hospice. It was a life-changing experience for me as a student nurse back in 1999 - I actually learnt how a child can live in the face of death - and I mean properly live! Sadly that hospice isn't the same place anymore and has become over-run by what I can only describe as legalism in it's worst form if it was in the Christian church. Rules have replaced spontaneity. Appearance has replaced fun. Policies have replaced the smile of a child.
But I had the opportunity recently to very vividly recall why I went into nursing and what nursing is all about. I can't say too much about what happened because I must preserve the patient's confidentiality - but in essence a young mother was visiting her week old baby and I just happened to ask if she had a cuddle. She said she hadn't since the baby had been born and had to have a life-saving operation. So I got the baby out along with all it's tubes, wires and monitoring and sat back and watched as the mother cuddled her precious baby.
That ... sooo made it all worth-while and that one smile from the mother managed to erase most of the politics and the dreary Pharisees of the last month or so!!
I don't say that to make myself look special in any sense of the word - I trust you all know me well enough by now to know I despise that. In fact that's partly why I enjoy showing and telling the "real me" so I won't look special! Any nurse could and would have done the same thing. My point is that surely it must be the same for us in the Christian world. My dear friend Pete Day sent me a text that has been prophetic in every sense of the word and I believe it could be true on a world-wide level. He knows intimately what has been going on with me and texted this;
"As I pray for you over your work, I keep coming back to the vision of Stephen in Acts 7 - of Jesus standing for him. The applause of heaven. People are trying to shout you down and accuse you but heaven is calling "Well done!". Men can't stop you fulfilling your destiny and they can't turn heaven against you. God is always for you and will be forever!".
That is the eternal perspective that if we as a Church could seize - if like Stephen our eyes could be opened to see the Son of Man standing at the Father's right hand, then our perspective would be changed forever so that we too would boldly walk to our deaths fearing nothing and noone because "God is FOR ME! WHO can be against me!?".