The other day my husband, youngest daughter and I were waiting in the line at the post office. It was one of those moments where I was in a hurry and, as I stood there in the line that never seemed to move I could feel myself getting ticked. I’m sure you know that antsy feeling. I don’t even know why I was in such a hurry - I just was! It also occurred to me that my purse was ridiculously heavy and that I needed to return an email and that I had far too much to do….blah, blah, blah. I stood there - lost in my thoughts and somehow silently conveyed enough anger that my daughter told me that I seemed a little tense. “I’m FINE!” I snapped. Then suddenly I overheard angry voices at the counter - two customers were fussing with each other and as I listened I was literally overflowing with internal self-righteousness. Here is just a sampling of my pithy thoughts: “No wonder the post office is going under, they have terrible service!” “I have better things to do than to wasted my time waiting around like this!” or my personal favorite “Those people need to calm down. Some people can be so impatient!” Ugh - why am I admitting all of this? I make myself sick seeing this in writing.
But then…(I just love those two little words)
But then…God does what only He can do.
But then…It was finally our turn and for some reason Jesus saw fit to show up right there at the post office counter. He opened my eyes and I saw this precious human being standing in front of me. She wasn’t just a service provider, she was a child of God created in His image. And so Jesus told me to really look at her and pay attention!! In that moment everything else just faded away and she told me her story. She told me that she had two grown kids and that her son who was 28 had died of a massive heart attack three months earlier while they were gathered for a family reunion. She told me that it has been terrible and surreal and that sometimes she still cannot believe it happened. We stood there - the two of us and we connected and swallowed our tears and I told I would pray for her and I have definitely prayed. She poured out her heart to me standing at that ugly formica post office counter and it was hard and sad and beautiful.
Jesus somehow always seemed to be able to really see people. Here’s what He said about how He communicated and ministered:“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed,lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:13-16)
Can I pull my eyes off of myself and my agenda long enough to be more than what Jesus describes as a person who has closed her own eyes? Am I willing to make my to-do list subserviant to the bigger to-do list that God has in mind?
I want to.
I want to take off my glasses of selfishness and put on my Jesus goggles.
I want to really see and be seen. To know and be known. I want to take the risk of being awkward and not knowing the right thing to say if it means that I can show someone else the love of Christ.
Get your googles on friends - we have some work to do.