Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Do You See ___________?

In the last little while, I've been struck by how little we often see the people around us. I'm not talking about realizing there are people around. I'm talking about something more, something deeper.

It's easy to go through life and make quick judgements of people based on what we notice at a glance.

They're . . . . . busy
             . . . . . rude
             . . . . . homeless
             . . . . . addicted to drugs
             . . . . . annoying
             . . . . . pushy
             . . . . . not worth my time.

I make those judgements easily, as I'm sure most of us do. But, they're never the full picture. We're making them hastily and they're incomplete.

Do you see ___________?

How would those judgements change if we took a bit more time? What if we started looking beyond the fast, easy label we could put on someone? What if we really started to see people?

Jesus asks this question to a Pharisee in Luke 7. The end of Luke 7 recounts Jesus at a Pharisee's house for dinner. A woman with a sinful reputation comes and pours perfume on Jesus' feet. Simon, the Pharisee, judges this situation. Jesus see  Simon's hear and challenges him on what's going on it. Simon took one glance at this woman and judged her as sinful and someone he would not want to touch him.

Jesus asks Simon, the Pharisee, an interesting and challenging question in Luke 7:44. Jesus turns toward the woman and asks Simon, "Do you see this woman?" Jesus isn't asking Simon if he noticed the woman was there. He's asking a deeper question. He's challenging Simon on what he notices when he looks at others.

And in the same moment, Jesus is telling the woman that He sees her. That He sees beyond her reputation. That He wants to free her for more. Jesus isn't excusing her sinful reputation, or saying it doesn't exist, but He's saying there is more to this woman that just her reputation.

Jesus does the same thing in Luke 8:42-48. A woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touches Jesus' garment and is healed. When Jesus asks, "Who touched me?" it's not because He's upset with her or trying to figure out who did it. Jesus is asking because He wants to let the woman know He sees her. For a woman who had been a societal outcast for twelve years and had people ignore her and stay away, this would have been life changing, just as the physical healing was. Jesus was truly seeing her and calling others to as well.

Both of these accounts challenge me on how I do at seeing people. AM I making judgements based on a quick glance and some assumptions? Or am I taking time to really see people?

Maybe those few seconds of pause where we look at someone again and change our response will change everything.

Do you see ______________?

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