Us Christians, so comfortable with church, so comfortable with our lives. Do we really see?
Do you really see others or do you just see yourself?
I challenge you to see past your tradition and your cultural norms; I challenge you to see with Jesus’ eyes.
Do you see the girl who smokes and wonder how she calls herself a Christian, or do you see an opportunity to love, a chance to encourage, inspire? A chance to welcome her with open arms and remind her how powerful God is and how he can overcome anything? Maybe you’re right, being 2 stone overweight is no where near as sinful as a 10 a day smoker.
Do you see the guy in church who has his hands up and claps? Do you see the guy who is so passionate and going for it with God and think ‘he’s got is sussed he does?’ … Or can you see past that? Can you, in reality, see the guy who can’t go to bed at night without some form of sedative because self-harm and depression has just to strong a hold over him? Do you see his heart wrenched cries to God for help, or do you just see the guy who comes to church and really ‘engages in worship?’ … Maybe he only does it, because, that’s his only hope – how far would a little encouragement go?
Do you see the girl who comes to church in fear of not impressing? Can you see past her well groomed hair, new clothes and flawless makeup and see that she feels she has to look her best because she knows, that behind the scenes, when the leaders aren’t about the guys in church rate her out of 10?
What about the guy who comes to church who is gay? His effeminate voice and out there trendy clothes. Do you see a guy wounded by life and the churches judging, or can you see past that and realise that sex with another man is just as bad as sex outside of marriage, or, are you going to be like his parents and throw him out on the street too? How far would a welcoming hug and a smile of acceptance go?
What about the newest young couple in town? Do you longingly wait for an engagement ring, so excited as you reminisce of young love? Are you even aware that their putting off such an engagement because behind the scenes they’re still struggling with sexual sin, too scared, too intimidated to ask for help for fear their reputation might take a blow?
Or what about our dear old 80-year-old friend, the one woman who could pray you through anything? You may see her as an inspiration, but she’s still human. Maybe her husbands died, maybe her kids are far away, she’s too sore to walk far and really its not safe for her to drive, but bless her, she still gets to church and pops out the odd passionate prayer. She inspires you, encourages you, but is it all about you? Do you see that besides your new inspired feelings of motivation that she’s actually feeling alone? How far would a phone call go? A quick cup of tea? An invite where you know she can’t go but, hey, it’s nice to be involved?
Maybe it’s time we started to pray for eyes. Maybe its time we realised that this church we so love to go to for a catch up and a song is truly as Casting Crowns put it “A Stained Glass Masquerade”.
What’s the reality? Behind that smoker there’s a story, a reason for her rebellion, behind that guy there’s pain, his passion is just an outworking of his desperation and that other girl? Well she’s chained to image and that guy who’s gay, he can’t break free from something he’s not even aware of, and that young couple, their marriage might be doomed before it’s even started and what if our dear old 80 year-old-friend has a pleasant death and ends up in heaven, but her final few years on this place were spent … alone?
Jesus is the best, Jesus is the healer, Jesus sees, Jesus knows, Jesus truly is God in man - but maybe it’s time we prayed for his eyes. Maybe it’s time we opened our own.
Maybe it’s time where we’re the ones that need to break free.
Pray for eyes.
Be ready to see.