The Perspective of the Uncommon Life

“From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”  

2 Corinthians 5:16

 One of the amazing things about humanity, is we are all part of a journey.  Although we are different, the road is much the same for us all.  We all have moments, in our lives where everything is wonderful.  Times where we feel like we have life under control.  Seasons where it appears that victories keep adding up and things are working very well in our favour.  Yet, as humans we also, are all familiar with heartache and suffering.  We understand the moments when the unexpected phone call comes and tragedy has reached our lives.  We are familiar with broken homes, broken marriages, and broken lives.  None of us are exempt.  We experience joy and tears.  Dreams and sorrows.  Hope for a future and moments where our hope has been taken captive by the uncertainties of life.

This study is particularly moving for me, because it strips away all the human defenses, and excuses and challenges me to remember my pain, my journey, my victories when assessing another human life.  This is challenging because we tend to be a people focused on cultural acceptables and base so much of life’s perspective from that mindset.  We look at where we have come & forget where we have been.  In doing so, we often do not offer that same privilege to someone else.  The privilege of working out their own journey with God through their joy & their tears.  Through their victories and defeats.  Through their challenges of finding him in their heartache.

Susie Larson begins this chapter by telling a story of a woman whose was not a great housekeeper.  She had a lot on her plate, a lot of children, and the responsibilities of her life kept piling up.  Everything in the home seemed great besides that, until one day a crisis came into her family.  She was left a widow.  She was terrified.  She stood in her home in fear and trembling with the fear of the future in front of her.  She did not know how she was going to make it.  In the midst of that moment, some people from the church came over to help clean her house and get her life in order.  Seems like a great plan and it really could have been, if that was all they did.  They worked to get her house in some form of order, then left her place only to share the horror of her housekeeping skills with others.  They discussed how unorganized she was, how they did not know how anyone could live like that, and so on.  The truth that Susie emphasizes in this chapter, was that in her desperate moment of weakness, they exposed her.  Instead of covering her and being a place of safety for her, they took her weak moment and misused her and the work of God in her life.

This is sobering.  It makes me wonder how many times in my life unknowingly I have done that in someone else’e life.

The Uncommon life chooses a different path.


  1. Love Sees

What does love see?

A.  We All Have a Story – None of us have made it this far in our lives without there being a story.  It comes back to where we started.  We all have celebrated  successes.  We all have cried tears of disappointments, but we all have stories.  The interesting thing about us though, is that we forget that our friends, and neighbors have stories too.  Just because I might be in a moment of victory and they might be in a season of disappointment does not give me the freedom to elevate myself.  I will find myself in a moment of brokenness somewhere in the future and I pray that in that moment, I have some uncommon people in my life who do not use that moment to expose my weakness, but who will rather offer life to me in my pain.  Let’s be uncommon and recognize the wonderful and terrifying stories of those we are walking this life with. Their stories are filled with much of the same as ours, seasons of winter and seasons of sunshine.

B.  The Work of God is Holy Ground –  This part of this study brings the fear of God out in me.  Matthew 5 :8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” .  Properly translated from the greek it actually says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they God shall see.” I want to be seen by God.  I want my heart to be one that is pure before him.  I want to recognize his work in my life, and in the life of those I am with.  I must admit though, I have never honestly stopped to consider that our stories are actually Holy Ground.

Here is what Susie says in this chapter, “When we earnestly pursue purity in our own thoughts and hearts, we will acquire a supernatural ability to see others the way Jesus sees them..  It won’t matter if they move fast and you move slowly – if you guard your heart when you think of them, you’ll get a front-row seat to see God’s divine love work in them, and you’ll be nourished as your watch their life’s story unfold.”  She goes on to challenge us that if we allow our hearts to become impure and we become self-righteous against them that we will not get the privilege of seeing what God is doing in them.  This is what she says, “God won’t let us in on the precious treasure of their strengths because right now, we’re mishandling their weaknesses.”  This is powerful if we allow it to penetrate our hearts.  We must recognize that my brother or sisters journey is one of holy ground.  God is working even when I can’t see him.  I have experienced moments where someone else trampled on the work of God in my life, and it is sobering for me to think that I, too, may have done that in someone else’s life.  Susie shares one more thought that I must share, “Christ’s work in all of us is sacred.  Your process, my process, messy as it is sometimes, is holy ground.”  Let’s be people who are uncommon and recognize the sacred work of God in another’s life.


“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God

chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”  

1 Corinthians 1:27

        2.  Love Covers

How does it cover?

A.  Getting Dirty While Remaining Pure –  In John 13:4-10 we have an example of Jesus preparing to wash the feet of his disciples.  He demonstrates humility in this act, but also stresses that cleansing was necessary in order to be a part of him.  We know this deals with those who come to him and are new creations.  Yet, it is so interesting that he is removing the mess of the journey from off of their lives.  Jesus walked with them in the mess of their lives yet he remained pure.   I have often told a story of my own initial exposure to the things of God.  For me, it began with a man of God who was not afraid to get dirty while he remained pure.  In my life, it was a Pastor who came into the home of a broken family.  Someone who came and ate supper with a drunkard.  Someone who sang hope to those who felt hopeless.  Someone who did not require that the package look perfect to be loved, but someone who loved the broken package.  We must never underestimate the value of getting dirty while remaining pure. We must be willing to let the mess of broken lives walk beside us.  We must love those who don’t come in the perfect religious package.  We must, if we want to be uncommon.    Let’s make a decision to be led by the one who got dirty while remaining pure.  He truly is the greatest example.

B.  Giving Protection in Moments of Another’s Weakness –  Let’s go back to the woman in the earlier part of this lesson who had church people come and clean her home when she was in grief.  The response of an uncommon life would have been to protect and cover her in this moment of weakness.  If we want to be uncommon, we must protect.  We must be willing to be misunderstood if necessary, but we must value people.

I want people who will protect me in my moments of weakness.  People who will step in front and fight for me.  People who will fend off the gossipers, the liars, those who will push back those looking to gain from my pain.  I want to have those people in my life.  I also want to be that kind of person.  Someone who jumps in front and fights for one who can’t fight for themselves.  I want to be someone who fends off the accuser on another’s behalf.  This is truly the uncommon road.

Having the perspective of an uncommon life requires deep commitment.  It requires being focused on truth and not giving place to becoming judge over another person’s life.  The perspective of the uncommon person is a divine perspective, for they see that love truly see’s, but love also covers.  It is a life that chooses to walk in the midst of the dirty dusty lives of another while remaining pure, and according to Matthew 5:8, this is truly the life that God sees.

The road to being uncommon is not easy.  Having an uncommon perspective comes with a price, but the reward of seeing the treasure of God being released from another life is one of the most beautiful encounters life can ever know.  The fragrance of God released, as we encounter him through their story.


  1. Reply
    renewingtheinside says:

    I really liked this. There is plenty of good stuff in this. 🙂

  2. Reply
    suholmes03 says:

    “Christ’s work in all of us is sacred.” Moses was commanded to remove his sandals when in front of the burning bush because he was on holy ground. How many times have I rushed in and trampled on the sacred processes of someone else’s life? An insensitive word, a careless action, or a selfish motive … they each have the ability to crush. I’ve been the one crushed and I’ve been the one doing the crushing. I have also been the one who has been offered life in the middle of brokenness by some uncommon people. Right now I’m the one feeling gratitude for Christ’s grace and mercy in my life … and for the people He has brought into my life. : )
    “We all have a story.” I have my own story and can relate all to well to Susie’s story in the section subtitled ‘Love Sees”. Unlike Susie, I have lost sight of the seed of faith at times and I have allowed my own mess cause me to lose sight of what others were going through. And like Susie, I have allowed pride to poison my thoughts and actions. It was an eye opener to see the possibility of the tax collector and the Pharisee as two sides of the same person. And yes, I’ve been both.
    The image that Susie presented of “when we stand shoulder to shoulder, with our arms linked the enemy will have a hard time knowing where I end and you begin.” was powerful. What an illustration of the commanded blessing promised when we dwell in unity. It also reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:12 – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
    “He got His hands grimy yet He kept His heart pure.” … “Jesus walked with, hung with and loved the most humble and the most needy people on the planet. This was God in the dirt.” “Though His feet shuffled through the dirt, His perspective always came from heaven.”
    These lines from this chapter gave me a handful to think about. In discussing this chapter with a friend recently, she posed a question that has me wondering the same thing about myself. “When was the last time I got down in the dirt so to speak to serve God?” Honestly, for me it’s been a while. I’ve been quick to size up the task and assume that the job was too big, too overwhelming, while forgetting Who it was that called me to it. I’ve looked at the needy and declared that I don’t have anymore to give. But in doing so I’ve worn a cloak of arrogance. I had nothing of my own to give anyway that would be of value to the needy. Christ is their supply, the only One who could meet their need. He is the only One who can meet my need. He has been waiting for me to be willing to be a vessel to carry Him to the needy. I was offering Him my pitiful abilities while He was waiting for my availability.
    Needless to say, my perspective is changing. This book, and this chapter in particular, has humbled me. The people God has used in sharing this have humbled me. And that, itself, is an example of God in the dirt of my life. Just as God has brought precious people into my life to minister words of encouragement, and to cover me while I was ‘hanging over the commode’, I pray for a renewed sensitivity and passion to hang out with and love the needy that God brings me to. I pray for a heart to stay and cover rather than to follow the carnal nature of ‘run and tell’.
    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
    Thanks Pastor for sharing this.

  3. Reply
    Ann Sutherland says:

    very good article Freda. bless you in your journey

  4. Reply
    Paul Appleby says:

    Wonderful story and teaching, Freda!
    Sue, I appreciate the choice we have to “run and tell” or to “stay and cover”. It seems that staying and covering is often done without fanfare while running and telling is an attempt to drum up fanfare. I too often love the fanfare of cheap words instead of costly compassion.
    Just the other night my son phoned me in a state of panic (he suffers anxiety disorder). We get frequent calls from him and when that happens usually I impatiently ask if he wants me to pray for him (often an easy way out for me – cheap words) This time I silently thanked God for His love and compassion in me and to help me to let that manifest tonight. So my son said let’s just talk; so, that’s what we did and then I prayed for him. He went right to sleep and slept ’til 7:00 the next morning. I’m awestruck at what God will do through us when we “stay and cover”!
    Thank you, Freda and Sue.

    • Reply
      suholmes03 says:

      Paul, God’s love is so amazing. Thanks for sharing about Simon. It is encouraging and it is amazing what God will do when we let Him. I haven’t exactly excelled at the ‘stay & cover’ part lately. But I hope to see that change as I make myself available to be filled and renewed by Him again and again. It can be quite an ordeal learning not to step on the process that our Father is working out in someone else’s life. I’m quick to forget that His eyesight is a whole lot better than mine. He sees the whole picture while I, with my own feeble vision (in comparison) focus on and critique a few pixels. 🙂

      • Reply
        Paul Appleby says:

        Sue, you have some marvelous insights and you communicate them well. Perhaps it’s time for a blog by Susan Holmes … maybe?

  5. Reply
    Bob Malloy says:

    Another WOW! from Pastor Freda. Thank-you for saying YES! to GOD!!!
    Bros. Bob

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