Recently, I awoke to a message from my bank, declaring my account to not only be empty but over-drawn. I was pretty sure that when I went to bed there was money in that account. But apparently, I went shopping in my sleep…a little at Best Buy, some at Wal-Mart and I was even kind enough to donate to a charity in Minnesota. In truth, while I slept securely, someone hacked my account and had a heyday. It was Sunday morning and not much could be done except to let the bank know and wait for them to do their thing.
As I went to church, I couldn’t help thinking about the person who drained my bank account; I pictured a thief hunkered down in his mother’s basement, dark & dreary. I wasn’t mad. I pitied him. And all I could do was stand in our worship service, sing and pray for this poor person. My heart actually broke for this unknown human.
Now, hold on just a minute, don’t praise what appears to be a tender heart…when this happened before I was angry and cursed the unknown crook. That’s my first and the easiest reaction when I experience an injustice. Cut me off on the freeway & you’re a jerk. Take a different political view & you’re illogical. Why would you post that on social media? You watched what movie with your 10-year-old?! Personally, I see life very black & white. There are few grey areas for me. What tends to happen from these beliefs, if not filtered through a humble heart, is a judgmental attitude. The Lord has been adjusting my vision lately. Not that right & wrong changes, but how I respond to it does. It’s a work in progress, but I find myself examining my heart and seeing my own ugliness. My pride not only clouds my vision, it’s downright blinding.
Last week, I shared how eternity brings the present into focus (Check it out - Vision) Let’s add and another layer…kind of like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure. Remember the scene where they’re looking at the secret map on the back of the Declaration of Independence? Cage’s character is wearing a pair of glasses that have multiple lenses. As he drops each lens into place, he sees something different giving them a clue.
Here’s your next lens…
"As I live," says the Lord, "every knee shall bow to me
and every tongue shall confess of me.”
We were created in the image of God, for His glory. And one day, no matter how we chose to spend our time, what political or religious stance we take; we will all bow before our Creator. The key is, will we bow with joy and enter into His presence or in anger only to be sent away for eternity? And here is where I gain clarity of vision when I see people.
I can look at the person who cut me off and wonder what causes them to hurry & miss a moment that God purposed just for them.
They are lacking.
My heart can break as hateful words pour out of a person’s mouth because we believe something different.
They are broken.
My soul can morn with those who have lost loved ones and the anger they feel. They are lonely.
My mind is devastated for the monster that guns down a fellow human being.
They are unloved.
I can weep for the lost child, the aborted child, the enslaved child, but I can also ache for the soul committing the atrocity.
They are lost.
Because that is what Jesus does. He looks at His creation and mourns the loss of fellowship, the lack unity and the brokenness of mankind. He sees me, the crook, the murderer, the liberal, the conservative, the drunkard, the snob, the poor, the rich, and you all the same. He died for each and every one of us. He longs for relationship with each of us.
1 John 2:2
He, Himself is the propitiation for our sins
and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world.
So now I look for the fingerprint of God on each person…the guy taking my order at Starbucks…the little girl throwing a tantrum in the aisle at the grocery store. I can scroll through social media & not become angry because of people’s opinions. Watching the news no longer infuriates me. I don’t feel a need to voice my opinion.
The heart of Jesus is the lens that causes me to see the missing piece in people's lives and I can have compassion.
So That people are pointed to the love of Jesus.