“I just don’t see it at all!”
“Concentrate, Mum. You should see the shepherd with sheep at his feet. Look closely.”
I stare intently at the picture, hanging in the Eye Twister section of the Vision Fantastic exhibit. Nothing. The same monotonous, yellow and blue paisley patterns meet my eyes. Yet Matthew, my ten year old son can make sense of the optical illusion perfectly.
“Right. Take two steps back, so that you can see the whole picture.” He explains, patiently. “You have to take in everything that’s going on.”
I obey, determined not to dispel Matthew’s excitement.
“Now. Firstly, you must believe.”
I stifle a giggle, as I look at my son’s serious expression. “What do you mean?”
“Don’t think I don’t know you, Mum. You’re standing there, looking at the picture, thinking nothing’s going to happen!”
I am shocked, not realizing how easily read my expression is. I have never been able to accept things which are not blindingly obvious.
“O.K.” I laugh. “I DO believe that there is actually a picture behind the designs.”
“Good. Now focus on the red dot right in the middle, behind the patterns.”
I squint to see the dot, then eventually find it.
“Don’t take your eyes from it. Keep looking, and don’t get distracted.”
I refrain from answering, “Yes, Boss.” sarcastically, in a resolute attempt to share his vision.
A minute later, I finally reply, “I don’t think it’s going to work, son.”
“Keep watching!” He is growing agitated, so the pressure is on.
I decide to stick it out for another few seconds. This time, as I stare at the crimson speck in the distance, I feel the picture suddenly move. All of a sudden, colours begin to blend together, and shapes jump out which I had never noticed before. The shapes and colours join together to become a larger picture.
“Got it!” I yell, completely oblivious to the strange looks directed at me from passers by. I see a shepherd, standing on a hill, a crook in one hand, the other palm stretched out, invitingly. Four sheep lie at his feet, contentedly. “That’s amazing!” My voice echoes across the room.
“I knew you could do it.” In a reversal of roles, Matthew beams with pride.
“Thanks. It was certainly worth persevering.” I answer, thoughtfully. “ I suppose it’s like a lot of things we don’t quite understand. When we take a step back, and study carefully, without getting distracted, everything begins to fit together to reveal the whole story.”
“Whoa! That’s deep, Mum.” Matthew considers what I have said for a second, then runs eagerly to the next room of illusions. “Come and have a look at this one!”
Without any other option, I follow him into a room with a swirling carpet, and three dimensional images displayed on each wall. Matthew is standing in front of a massive maze, covered in detailed patterns. He grins cheekily, as I read a sign displaying the words, ‘The Giant Eye Twister Challenge.’
“ Need any more explanations, Mum?”
‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ Matthew 7:7
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