Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, has become an American classic over the past seventy some years.  In it a young woman, Emily, who died is allowed to come back for one day.  She chooses an ordinary day.  The end of that day she is making her way back to the cemetery and she looks back at the town and says: “Good-bye, Good-bye, our town.  Good-bye, clocks ticking.  Good-bye, mother and father.  Good-bye, fresh coffee.  Good-bye, sun flowers.  Then she almost breaks into song.  “O earth, you are so marvelous.”  She turns to the stage director, who plays the part of God and says: “Does anyone realize it while they are alive?”  He smiles at her and says: “Well, the poets do and the saints, some of them.”

Wilder’s message is clear.  It’s the ordinary things that turn out to be the most important.  And the reason for their importance is also clear.   It is because the ordinary things, the nitty-gritty things of everyday life, are really all we have.  And what is crucial is how we see those ordinary things.  Perspective makes all the difference   A story illustrates that truth.  It is the story of two stone-cutters who were working on the reconstruction of St. Paul’s cathedral in London.  When the architect Christopher Wren asked them what they were doing, the first replied: I am cutting stone.”  The second answered: “I am building a cathedral.”  Whom do you think was happier in his work?

For the Christian the perspective should be to see things with the eyes of faith.  Through faith we gain a new vision, a new way of looking at things, even the most ordinary things. Seeing with the eyes of faith reveals new vistas.  It makes one feel very much like a severely myopic person who gets proper glasses for the first time.

But most important is the perspective with which you view yourself and others. Seeing others with the eyes of faith means seeing them as brothers and sisters.  Seeing your-self with the eyes of faith means seeing yourself as loved by God.  You see yourself realistically i.e. as a sinner, but a sinner washed in the blood of Christ, loved and valued by God so much that he sent his son to save you.  There is great strength in honestly facing one’s sinfulness, one’s brokenness and at the same time having such faith in God’s love and mercy as to be well balanced, serene, and even happy.