i have seen Him.

I remember the day quite clearly. I walked out of the optometrist’s office with a pair of round lens tortoise-shell glasses and proudly pronounced, “Who knew trees had leaves?” I was being a bit facetious about the knowing part, but I wasn’t at all teasing about the being about to see them part. Having self-selected not to wear glasses for years because I didn’t think they looked good on me,
I had also chosen to miss out on seeing many of the finer details of life such as leaves on trees.

I think many of us have a similar experience with Jesus. He is all around us, yet we don’t see Him. Our vision is impaired for numerous reasons, but I think largely it’s because we don’t look for Him in the right places. We have this mixed up notion that He shows up only in the perfect and beautiful… in the churchy places with the churchy people… the ones who are doing well and getting it right…

And we couldn’t be more wrong.

I know because I have seen him.

Just yesterday.
In a hand-me-down t-shirt.
With no front teeth.
And eyes that can’t hide a painful past.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re surprised at my claim and shocked by my description. I’ve been a little surprised myself, but I shouldn’t be. Matthew 25:35-36 gives us a pretty clear description of Jesus… and it’s much like the one I’ve given.

But here’s the glory in the story:

We change the world when we change what we see.

And… God will change us.

That’s exactly what He has been doing with Brad and me in the last month since we welcomed Jesus, in the form of a drug addict who spent the last 18 years in prison, into our family. { Read the story here. } We are forever changed by what we’ve experienced. Our hearts have been permanently altered. And we know He will open our eyes wider still.

Two weeks ago that drug addict got her first paycheck. In a two-week period, she worked 80 regular hours and 39.5 overtime hours… washing dishes in a busy cafe. She now has a monthly budget that begins with tithing. Her choice, and not even at my prompting. She opened her first ever savings account with 10% of her check. She bought her own groceries, and she’ll pay her own rent this month. Yesterday she became a legal driver for the first time ever. { More on that story later! }

I’ll say it again: We change the world when we change what we see.

Let’s all ask God to help open our eyes to Jesus in the faces of the low, the least, and the last. That’s not just the homeless, the poor, the sick, and the ones in prison.

If you’re a teacher, she’s that one student everyone else has ignored.
If you’re a coach, he’s that one player who barely made the team.
If you’re at work, she’s that single mom who’s late more often than on time.
If you’re in the grocery store, he’s that elderly man whose basket it in your way.
If you’re out and about, he’s that tattooed, pierced person you tempted to judge.

Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord. Open the eyes of our hearts.
We want to see You.
We want to see You.

May we know Him and make Him known.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me….‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”
Matthew 25:35-36, 40

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