Learning to See

Story of the Day for Saturday November 5, 2011

Learning to See

                    Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good to be here. If you’d like, I’ll build three shelters . . .” 

                                                                                 Matthew 17:4

When the hospital administration proposed the construction of a new hospital to the medical staff, the reactions varied.

The dermatologist warned against making any rash moves, while the allergist voted to scratch it.  The ophthalmologist thought the idea was short-sighted, and the pathologist was adamant: “Over my dead body!”

But the gastroenterologist had a gut feeling it might be a good idea, and the podiatrist agreed, saying it would be a big step forward.

The proctologist, however, was adamant, “We’re already in arrears!” The urologist chimed in, saying the idea wouldn’t hold water.

The radiologist claimed he could see right through their objections.

“Well, you’ve got a lot of nerve,” said the neurologist. The anesthesiologists thought the new hospital would be a gas.  “This puts a whole new face on the matter,” the plastic surgeon added.

The orthopedist stood up to offer a joint resolution, and, while the internist thought it was a hard pill to swallow, they finally agreed, and were joined by the micro surgeons, who were thinking along the same vein.

Reluctantly, the psychiatrist voted for the project, but muttered that he still thought the idea was crazy.  And the cardiologist went along with the majority because he didn’t have the heart to say no.


We all tend to approach life from our own perspective. This can be a good thing because when it helps others understand a situation from a fresh angle.

But failing to consider where other people are coming from is the source of a lot of aggravation in life.  When we become self-centered, our failure to be sensitive to the viewpoint of others invites hard feelings and misunderstandings.

Everyone agrees that people who are selfish and fail to see the perspectives of others are obnoxious.  It’s harder to grasp, however, how often people who are compassionate can do more harm than good because their perspective is too narrow.


When Jesus first explained to his disciples that his mission as the Messiah was to suffer and die, Peter – motivated by love and loyalty – shouted, “This will never happen to you!” Peter’s motives were caring, but to Jesus, the suggestion that he avoid the way of suffering was the temptation of Satan himself.

About a week later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain – where he showed them his true majesty. Again, Peter’s motives were kind, but his perspective was skewed. He voted to stay on the mountain and bask in the glory, and, once again, failed to see the situation from Jesus’ perspective.


It’s not enough to care; to do good we must also learn to see.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)