During this wonderful season, we often like to read great literature, watch a great movie, or hear a great story—and be deeply moved.
Yet what moves us?
Among other things, point of view (POV) strongly effects how we’re moved.
To the very finite, limited extent that a story’s POV reflects God’s POV, we can be moved to a new appreciation of Jesus Christ’s unlimited POV in our lives.
POV can be omniscient or all-knowing. It doesn’t mean the narrator tells us everything he or she knows. In fact, the best narrators tell us only what we need to know. During His public ministry, Jesus certainly didn’t say everything He knew. In fact, most times He refused to answer the direct questions darting His way. He did that on purpose!
POV can be omnipotent or all-powerful. In most stories, the narrator isn’t directly making this or that happen. Then again, that sometimes happens, especially in fantasy and mythology. Outside of the days of Moses, the days of Elijah and Elisha, and the days of Jesus Christ and the apostles, God doesn’t directly cast down plagues, blind armies, perform miraculous healings, and bend the laws of nature. Or, does He?
POV can be omnipresent or all-present or, as we might more commonly say, everywhere present. Among other places, this is seen in movies with rapidly changing points of view during epic battle scenes. Classic examples include The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Star Wars series.
POV can be omnibenevolent or all-good. This is the classic happy ending that we love and love to hate. In the midst of a story, we want to deeply fear that all could end terribly. That terrible fear moves some to tears when all ends well.
This last POV seems to be hard-wired into our DNA, but the term omnibenevolence wasn’t coined until the mid-1800s, and would-be theologians love to argue whether it can be properly used to describe God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The fact is, the Bible doesn’t offer a happy ending for everyone. In that sense, it’s more true-to-life than any great work of fiction. Still, you’ll find this POV permeating most stories. Just don’t equate it with God somehow promising happy endings for one and all. Reality is far different!
Again, any story’s POV is only a small inkling of the Lord’s unlimited POV. So, don’t get too carried away! Still, look for these four points of view the next time you sit down to enjoy a great story and feel deeply moved.
The best? Being deeply moved to a new appreciation of Jesus Christ’s unlimited POV in our own lives, here and now.