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In an hour, I leave for a school Christmas program, and I know at least two of my Spanish students have solos. I can hardly wait to hear them sing.
 
Because life is more than Spanish and I need to always remember my 45 minutes with nouns and verbs and conjugations is only a little bit of who they are. Some of them aren’t so good at pronouncing words correctly, but they can shoot a three-pointer with ease.
 
They ride horses. They play guitars and flutes and pianos. They paint and draw cartoons and make computer graphics. People are more than we see of them in a day. 
 
"It’s leaning," my husband said. "The Christmas tree is leaning."
 
"Not from here," I said.
 
He was looking from a different place in the room than I was. Trees and people look differently from one angle than they do from another.
 
Which is why we need to remember our husband isn’t just the man who leaves his cup in the living room. He’s also the man who spends eight hours at work every day, doing hero kind of stuff, like earning mortgage money.
 
And our kids aren’t just the ones who can step over their wet towels 50 times and never pick them up. They’re also the ones being brave at public school and trying to love Jesus in the middle of exploding F-bombs and teenage drama.
 
Those people of yours? When is the last time you saw them in a different setting and appreciated who they are in all those hours when you aren’t with them?
 
Paul says, “Bear with each other” (Col. 3:13, NIV). One way we can bear with each other is to look at the person’s whole life and not just the angle we see day in and day out.
 
So I put on snow boots to watch my students sing, and tomorrow I will love them more because I have pulled back to enjoy a panoramic view of who God has shaped them to be.
 
Christy Fitzwater is the author of A Study of Psalm 25: Seven Actions to Take When Life Gets Hard. She is a blogger, pastor's wife and mom of two teenagers and resides in Montana. Visit ChristyFitzwater.com for more information about her ministry.  

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