I have just returned from the MAI Board meeting in Chicago. Serving with MAI is one of my great joys. The ministry trains and equips thought leaders – most of whom are authors or publishers in countless countries around the world.
When the chairman of the Board, Mark Carpenter, opened up our meetings he shared a story that impacted me and is a great example of the truth lens we highlight in our book. Here is how it went:
Mark shared how he and his son attended a city-wide cultural event held in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of the sponsors who hosted a part of the event was a local art museum that had a large sculpture garden as a key exhibit.
This museum’s event was a walk through the sculpture garden at night with each participant holding a flashlight. The participants would shine their lights on a sculpture when the guide was sharing about that particular work. Mark also mentioned that some of the sculptures were so big that the group had to work together with all their lights to bring the entire work of art into the light.
Mark went on to share how each of us on the board brings various experiences, ideas, etc. to the work of MAI. Each of us are shining our light onto the vision and mission of the organization to bring it into full view.
What an amazing analogy for truth!
In our book we share about the three communities along the river who view truth differently. The third community that we focus on is the Far Shore of the river and they believe that there is absolute truth but much of it is still unknown to us and has to be learned in humble community.
As I thought about Mark’s flashlight story, I realized that it is a wonderful example of the Far Shore of the river. The fact that the sculpture existed was not in question. Everyone knew it was there because the guide was talking about it. But the many visitors could not see it in the dark. To remedy this, they had to each shine their light on the sculpture to bring it out of the darkness.
That is the way it is with truth. We know that truth exists and that God is the master of it. He is our guide in the sculpture garden. But many times that truth is not clear or easy to see. But as we learn together in humble community and shine each of our lights on that piece of truth, it becomes much clearer.
Think back on this week and consider a moment when you and a friend, co-worker or family member were wrestling through a topic or idea. What light did you shine on the idea – what light did they shine on it? How did your interactions in community bring the idea into focus for both of you?
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