My husband was talking with a man a week ago who caught me completely off guard. He was average height, mid-forties or early fifties, with hair hanging well past his shoulders, snaggletooth, but relatively clean. As I eyed him, I found myself not revolted, but very leery, certain the language from his mouth would likely be offensive. As I joined my husband and listened to the conversation between the two of them, I discovered the man was a believer in Christ. Shame on me! I had put him in a box based on what my eyes saw.
In another instance we were in the midst of a large group of people and I noticed the attire of many of the women, young up to middle age; small and petite to larger and even obese wearing what looked like black tights in place of jeans or shorts. I again admit to shuddering and thinking, “Really?”
Why do we put people in boxes? I suspect when people see me, especially in conversation with someone else, they must just shake their head and wonder what in the world is wrong with me since my hands rarely stop moving. I don’t use “sign language” in the regular sense, but talking with my hands is just how I seem to be able to communicate. In fact, my husband has grabbed my hands in the middle of a sentence and I declare, I forget what it was I was saying!
My point is we all have little nuances, which makes us different. I imagine when Christ walked the earth; people probably found Him a bit odd. He challenged people to look at life differently, to accept what was new and in some instances went against what they’d believed all their lives. He wanted acceptance based on what He told them, not what he looked like.
God looks for faithfulness in our lives, not flawlessness. He doesn’t love us based on our hair style, shirt color, our shoe size or if we have all our teeth or not! He loves us because He is God. He loved us so much He sent his Son as the ultimate sacrifice. And Jesus loved us enough to leave His throne in heaven and give His life in agreement with the Father.
I believe God challenges us to look beyond what we see with our mortal eyes. It takes more than our human-ness to do this, however. The only way we can look past what we see is to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and our hearts to God’s wisdom. Otherwise we will see only as the world sees, and the world is blinded by sin and can’t see at all.
God also expects us to see past whatever situation we are in and look for guidance from Him to be able to deal with, work through, or wait on His answer regarding how to handle what is before us. When we use “God’s eyes” to see, we will more likely understand the lesson we are to learn from whatever trial we are facing or further mature into the person we are supposed to become in Christ.
As we grow in Christ, seeing our world, God’s creation, including other people, through Heaven’s eyes, we will grow in faith and as we grow we will discover that faith functions by love, not in a box. Our hearts will be able to see past the flaws we see in others and enable us to see with the love of God.