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The Un-Seen Blessing

I recently watched an excellent movie called The Magic of Belle Isle. It's a warm and funny drama starring Morgan Freeman, as Monte Wildhorn. He plays an author who's lost his inspiration after the death of his wife. Monte's nephew finds him a home for the summer in Belle Isle--dog sitting. Alcohol has drowned his will to write. Monte can't see the un-seen blessing hidden in Belle Isle until a beautiful mother, played by Virginia Madsen, and her three daughters help him find his incentive again.

The middle daughter, Finnegan, is a brilliant young girl about twelve. She's the first one to wiggle her way into Monte's life. He's bitter and unfriendly at first, but is eventually taken by her. Finnegan requests two things: define imagination, and teach her how to write a story.

Monte tells her to look down the country road where they live and tell him what she sees. At first, she says there's nothing there. He says, "Tell me what you don't see." It takes Finnegan a while, but eventually she begins to create a story.

The line in the movie that stood out to me was, "Never stop looking for what's not there!" Another way to say it is, "Never stop looking for the unseen blessing."

There's much scientific study today about how our brains work and how to rewire the brain. As an example, the facilitator took a drawing of the head of an animal. Some people saw the head of a duck with a long open bill. Others saw the head of a rabbit with long ears. The experiment was to prove that once you see something it's hard to UNSEE it. Once people saw the second animal, they were always able to see it.

Once we have a flash of insight into something hiding within the world we thought we knew, we can't unsee it. This is the principle behind the renewing of our minds. We are told to believe in Someone we can't see, but once we SEE Him, we can't unsee Him.

After I became a widow, I used to sit on the porch swing to watch the sun rise. One winter morning, as I hunted for inspiration, I observed the hedgerow on the edge of my property. The leaves were gone and everything was grey and boring. "There's nothing to see here," I mumbled, and gathered my things to go inside.

As I reached for the door, I glanced one more time at the hedgerow. I gasped in surprise because a big buck was standing in the exact spot I'd been looking. He'd been there the whole time, laying down in the weeds, hidden from my sight. The buck stood for several moments, as if he giving me a chance to get a good look. Then, he bounded off across the fields.

Then the Lord said, "There are things to see you cannot see." Just like the Magic of Belle Isle, we must never stop looking for the unseen blessings hidden all around us. These are the stories God writes upon our heart, and become the testimonies we share of His unfailing desire to bless us.

"So, we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we can see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT).

In summary, I would say that what we see can distract us from what needs to be seen. With the eyes of faith, we look beyond the temporal view to behold that which is glorious and eternal.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"(Hebrews 11:1).


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