To be a Christian is to see Christ in everyone and everything.
Leaving the conference where for three days we considered what it really means to be God’s people in the world, and to live out our faith in real and meaningful ways, one of my commitments is to practice seeing Jesus everywhere. To see in all I encounter the image of the One I claim to follow.
Easier said than done, which is why it is a practice.
Walking back to pick up our bags from the AirBnB with this commitment fresh on my mind, walking directly toward us was my first opportunity to practice. A man that I might typically describe as “sketchy” stepped in our path. Instantly I was on high alert, adrenaline shooting through my veins, and I was ready to bolt. He appeared to be in his late twenties, scruffy beard, clothes that hadn’t seen a washing machine in some time, toting a backpack, and my immediate impression was that he was a sophisticated pan-handler, or worse. My practice of avoiding such folks is obviously well-honed, and the possibility that he might reflect the image of the Carpenter who lived about 2000 years ago didn’t even cross my fearful, judgmental mind.
And then Jesus showed up.
Out of the mouth of the man blocking our path, the man I typically see as “the other”, the one from whom I would normally avert my eyes, came these words...I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation folks, but I need to tell you all to have a blessed day.
With a warm smile and a nod, he continued on his way.
I’m not saying that we should abandon our common sense and pay attention to our surroundings.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t take protective action should we need it.
I guess what I’m saying is that maybe we need new glasses with which to see the image of the Holy everywhere we look.
At least I know I do.