My sun porch

My sun porch

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seeing others through "Jesus glasses"

This week's memory verse:
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4

It's all about opening up our eyes and the eyes of our hearts. Yesterday I talked about seeking God's face. Today I want to talk about SEEING people through "Jesus glasses."

My whole church is reading another book together. It's called God Space, written by Doug Pollock. The part I read yesterday and this morning really reached out and grabbed me! How many people do you pass in a day? On the street, at your job, at school, at the grocery store, at the mall...It is possible to pass by HUNDREDS of people each day. But do we really notice any of them?

Doug Pollock encourages readers of his book to go to the internet and watch a certain video. Here is the link:

In this video, a man seems to be annoyed by everyone he comes into contact that morning and thinks he doesn't seem to matter to anyone that day. In a coffee shop a stranger appears before him and hands him a glasses case, and then seems to vanish. The man puts on the glasses inside the case and then sees little descriptions beside each person he sees that tells what is going on in their lives. "Just lost his job." "Avoids relationships for fear of being hurt." "Battling addiction." "Fighting with husband."

The man is confused and afraid of these descriptions. What is he supposed to do with this knowledge? The woman who "stole" his parking spot is grieving for her best friend. The man he runs into as he is running out of the coffee shop "just needs a hug."  He was seeing people with "Jesus glasses." He could SEE what was going on in the lives of people around him. Those descriptions explained why some acted the way they did.

What if we NOTICED people around us and saw what might be going on in their lives? Would we treat them differently?

A quote from Doug Pollock in God Space: "When we start to notice others with our Jesus glasses on, something happens inside us...His compassion melts away the coldness in our hearts. Our callousness toward others is replaced with genuine concern."

A young mother in the library last night really annoyed me. During a program, her youngest child, a toddler, was unhappy, so she strapped him into his stroller and let him cry and scream in the hallway outside the auditorium. I was in another program down the hall and came out to see what all the screaming was about. I was so angry at this mother who just didn't seem to mind that her child was screaming and annoying many others. It didn't seem to matter to her that his crying fit was interrupting our program or upsetting other children. While I didn't confront her, (both programs were almost over) in my head I was really letting her have it! I was judging her and her parenting skills! Well...this morning as I thought back on that event with my "Jesus glasses" on, I felt a little foolish at my attitude about her. I have no idea what her life is like. Perhaps she is a single mother who is really struggling with 3 young children. Maybe her other two wanted to see the animals SO BAD she didn't want to pull them out of the program just to deal with a cranky toddler. I have dealt with a cranky toddler is not fun! Perhaps I needed to cut her some slack...even in my own head!

Lord, today as I interact with people, help me see them as you do...with YOUR eyes instead of mine...and help me to learn to notice others around me. Some of those people may just need a kind word. Some just need to know that someone CARES for them. Help me to care about people today and put my needs aside for even a moment so my cold heart is melted and replaced with concern. Amen.

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