My eyes have not been working well this past week. I woke up Tuesday morning with so much gunk covering my contacts that I could barely make out which of my kids climbed into bed with us at 4 am. The next night I slept without my high prescription contacts, meaning that when I awoke again with goopy eyes – I was literally blind.
This got me thinking about eyes and how we use them. We can see a clock to tell the time. We can see our child or wife and let them know how nice they look today. We can even use them to successfully navigate rush-hour traffic on the interstate. However, they can just as easily lead us into danger and hurt if we aren’t careful. They can linger on an attractive woman’s body or internally criticize how someone is dressed. They can draw us toward the newest and shiniest or to covet something owned by our neighbor.
Eyes can also go bad and not work well anymore. Things don’t look quite as bright, we miss some of the details – maybe even all the details if you are like me with no contacts and clouded eyes! These eyes can miss the beauty God created and just as easily not see clearly injustice happening right in front of us.
Something hit me: we treat someones as somethings all the time when we don’t clearly see people as being children created by God. We choose so often to instead focus on the external look of things or, worse, miss seeing them all together. People on the street become everyday objects that we simply pass by. People at the airport become obstacles to avoid crashing into. An acquaintance sending a Facebook message can feel like browsing spam mail.
But what if we asked for the eyes of God in order to see people as he sees them? What might happen? Instead of “undressing” someone with our eyes, we could see a hurting heart; instead of being disgusted by a man with a cardboard sign, we could see his pain. This change of mindset and establishment of new neuropathways that are needed in my own mind will continue to take time to develop. In the meantime, though, I am going to practice remembering a few things and I encourage you all to do the same.
The woman on the internet you were fantasizing about last night by yourself with the door shut, her name is Anne and she is a person created uniquely by God.
The man you had your eye on at the gas station because he wore very different clothes than you and had dark skin, his name is Marcus and he is a human being uniquely knit together by God for a purpose.
The child’s picture you saw featured in a post on Facebook during orphan awareness week, she lives in Ukraine, her name is Vita and she is a princess of the King.
My prayer tonight is this: “God, please help me see people as you see them. Help me to remember that there are no ordinary people. Father, help me to see with your eyes and love with your heart. Please help me to never view a someone as a something.”
John Worth is a lifelong attender of Immanuel and husband to Hyacynth. John and Hy are parents of four ranging in age from 4 to 14. When he’s not nose deep in spreadsheets at work John enjoys helping others navigate the waters of life.