Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 days of gratitude in the home - Seeing as Jesus sees.

When Jesus was on the earth, he demonstrated that he does not see people as the world sees them -- by categories or by power or by what they can do for him. Instead, he sees to the heart of a person. He took time to notice and to talk with people who needed attention. He was also happy to take time out for little children.

If we are truly grateful, we will imitate Jesus' heart of seeing people deeply. We will be grateful for people. We will be grateful for opportunities to minister to people, even when those opportunities seem hard or awkward or impeding to our own agenda.

I, myself, need to grow in remembering and using people's names. When I meet someone, I can walk away and tell you their whole life story after a one-time, five- minute conversation. I am so caught up in the details of their lives. But, ask me their name, and I will often draw a blank. Yet, people's names are so important to them. I want to do better at remembering names and not just faces and details.

In writing about how Jesus really sees people in their book "Love at Last Sight", Kerry and Cris Shook conclude with this message:

"Above all, look below the surface of the people you love the most. Understand that what each of us present publicly tends to mask what's going on deep down inside. If you really want to be a good friend, a true husband or wife, or a loving brother or daughter, you'll care enough to look and listen for what someone is wrestling with underneath.

"For more than twenty years Nelson Mandela was held captive in a tiny prison cell in South Africa and was treated as if he were invisible. He was elected that country's president in 1994, just as apartheid ended. As president, he made sure to greet those who served him just as he would welcome a head of state, remembering their names and genuinely asking how they were doing. Mandela had been treated as if were invisible for so long that he never wanted anyone to feel invisible around him.

"Stop today and take a second look at the people in your path. Start with the people you're closet to. You may be surprised when you stop seeing only what you want to see and begin to view them with new eyes and a sensitive heart. Let them know they'll never be invisible to you. If you do, when you see them for the last time on earth, you'll be closer than ever before.
That last sentence gives me chills of both hope that we can really see each other through Jesus's eyes, as well as of urgency for the people God puts in my path -- especially those nearest to me.

I am so very grateful to have people in my life (and a God) who really take the time to see me, to listen to me, to rejoice with me and to sorrow with me. I am learning that this is a treasure all too rare in this world and that I must not take it for granted. Out of gratitude, I want to do the same for others.


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