Seeing People for Who They Really Are

My friend Father Rock (retired Catholic priest who I go visit for retreat each year) sees everyone he encounters through the eyes of Jesus.  One day we were on the walk around the lake and we encountered a lady.  She had obviously lived a hard life.  She looked older that she probably was, smelled like cigarette smoke, looked a bit tattered, and was clearly exhausted from life.  Father Rock greeted her by name, looked into her eyes and said, “Betty, it is so good to see you today.  You look lovely.”  He went on to listen to her, complement her and affirm what she was giving her time to that day.  As we walked away Father Rock said, “What a wonderful lady Betty is.  I always enjoy seeing her.”

I would like to say that I have the same response as Father Rock when I encounter people, but it is rarely the case.  My tendency is to quickly put a person that I meet into a predetermined category.  I then subconsciously figure out if they are above or below me in status and stature.  Next I try and determine if I would like to spend more time with this person, or if I should figure out a way to end this encounter as soon as possible.   By this time my determination of the person standing in front of me is worlds apart from Jesus’ belief about them.  He sees each of as his Beloved sons and daughters.   He loves who we are and sees the fullness of who we can be.

Oh that I would to see people through the eyes of Jesus…


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