It’s What You See

4 Sep

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

There is a discourse in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing the people about John the Baptist.  He knows that the people’s hopes and expectations are higher than in the past as they have been seeing  and hearing great things.

Jesus took the opportunity to ask the people, “What did you come to see?  A reed swaying in the wind?  What did you come to see?”  He was trying to get them to look at John the Baptist in a more complete way because, if they were able to do so, they would also see Jesus in the light that was necessary to open themselves up for salvation.

What do you see?  That questions can be asked of us many times over.  We can be keen observers.  We can also fall flat on our face, observing nothing important.  If we are concentrating and tuned in, we can see things more for what they are.  If we are distracted, we might miss entirely what is in front of our eyes.

The devil couldn’t be more pleased if that were to happen, if we were to miss what was in front of our own eyes.  You see, Jesus is in front of our eyes.  However, if we miss Him, we will not have the opportunity to respond to Him as appropriately as possible.  Jesus is in each person we meet, in every soul we encounter.  When we recognize that, we will treat that person differently.  We would accord that person the respect that is his or her due as a son or daughter of God.

If, on the other hand, we do not recognize and/or acknowledge the Lord in those we meet, we will treat them different.  We might ignore them at best or treat them with disdain at worst.  It is critically important that we be able to see and recognize the Lord in those we meet.  If we don’t, we might see someone to use.  We might see someone to ignore because we deem they have nothing to offer.  We might see someone who, in our estimation, deserves no attention.

That’s what happens when we look through our own frail eyes rather than look at the world through the eyes of God.

FAITH ACTION:  When you encounter someone today, do your best to look past the externals so that you may see the Lord who dwells within.