February 2010 - Vol. 37

Double Vision

by W.E. Sangster

The real you is the self which Christ could make you. You were not made to grovel. You were not built to abide in sin. God made you for himself, and deep-set in your heart there are longings for holiness, and every now and then the Spirit inflames them and you long for the great spaces in which the saint moves. 

I was in the Zoo some time ago and lingered by the cages of the eagles. Somehow or other the sight of them hurt me. I looked at the great wing-spread of the King of Birds, and felt sick at heart that they were caged.... Made for the skies ... and crammed in a cage. 

So many of us are like that; made for the skies and imprisoned in sin. When Jesus looks at us, he sees us as we are, but, with his double vision, he sees us also as we might be. 

He looked on Simon and saw Peter. He looked on Saul and saw Paul. He looked on Augustine the roué [debaucher] , and saw Augustine the saint.... If only we could see ourselves as Christ sees us! If we could stand at His elbow and get that double vision; the men and women we are; the men and women we might be! ... See yourself then "the man God meant." Hold the picture in the eye of relevant imagination whenever you pray. Dwell (on your knees) on the thought that God could make you like that ... and, as you dwell on it daily and in prayer, God will use your sanctified imagination to pull you up. The actual will turn into the ideal. The difference may be so marked that you will need a new name. To you, as to one long ago, He may say "Thou art Simon ... Thou shalt be called 'Rock."

[excerpt from Daily Readings from W.E. Sangster, Frank Cumbers, editor, Revell, 1966, Old Tappan, New Jersey, USA]

William Edwin Sangster, a great Methodist preacher and writer, lived between 1900-1960. During World War II, he served as senior minister at Westminster Central Hall in London, the "cathedral" of Methodism. The basement became an air-raid shelter as soon as the German assault began. As space in the below-ground shelter was scarce, he and his family lived at great risk for five years on the hazardous ground floor. By war's end 450,000 people had found refuge in the church basement.In 1949 Sangster was elected president of the Methodist Conference of Great Britain..
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