What if we could see people the way God sees them? Think about it for a moment. If Jesus were standing beside me when I had some interaction that comes to mind, and I could ask him for his insight, what would he say? In an instant, Jesus would see eternity in the eyes of the brother or sister standing there. From birth to death and onto glory. Snap! He would see it all. He might turn to me and patiently ask me why I’m so concerned about outward appearance, temporary affliction, a moment of rage or confusion.
I’m confident Jesus would be unconcerned about how they looked. That’s not to say he wouldn’t care; he just wouldn’t judge someone by the clothes they wear or last time they enjoyed simple pleasures like a private bath or shower.
Jesus would be able to look beyond their present circumstances and see their potential future when basic needs are met, and meaningful relationships establish. He would smile. On the other hand, a tear would appear when the opposite is true when poor decisions were made to alter his path and spiral out of control. Freedom of will is a dynamic and incredibly complex concept.
When I look at the large group of people vying for a pair of shoes, a sleeping bag, or limited resources, I can’t help but wonder how they would act if they didn’t have to ask for any of the above. How many days did they wander without decent shoes or lay cold without proper bedding? How many days would it take for me to want to fight for some simple commodity?
What am I supposed to do when someone asks for a pair of one-way bus tickets just to restart their life? As I sit in my warm home with no worries about any of these thoughts, I truly wonder how to see these people with God’s eyes. I get stuck in Matthew 5 through 7, otherwise known as the Sermon on the Mount. Flipping the pages back and forth, reading the words I’m trying to get my mind around the thought that Jesus spoke these words to people in all stages of life and all levels of society. Those who first heard the words were mothers and fathers, lonely and desperate, old and young, rich and poor.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
The words apply equally across the spectrum. All I want is to hear the voice of Jesus so clearly in these moments that I might be moved to think as he would. When interactions are tense, I pray for an express ride to the balcony to view the scene from afar properly. I want to step out of time for an instant and see eternity in the eyes of those involved. I want to say to those we meet, “you are salt and light–your life matters!” The Father equally loves everyone. “Now serving number 1,” and everyone steps forward. The Father sees all.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4
I wonder what it’s like to see through God’s eyes, and then I remember the Holy Spirit is right here, deep inside my chest, always available, eager to answer. My humanity gets in the way too much of the time. Thoughts betray me and words that I regret slip from my lips. With a glance or glare, my eyes give away my inappropriate judgment, and I am revealed. There you have my confession. My heartfelt desire is for those moments to become fewer and farther between each day. The process takes time. I’m much better today than I was a year ago, but the hourly progress is difficult to appreciate.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2
Yes, I’m still re-reading the sermon and remembering not to worry, not to judge. Instead, simply ask, seek, and knock. Heaven awaits all who choose. Our job, in many ways, is to remove the barriers that prevent people from seeing the narrow way.
I think it’s infinitely more natural when we see people with God’s eyes.
Now serving number 1.