My favourite spot at home is my dining table. When it’s early morning as the sunlight awakens the world to a brand new day, sitting at my table, my eyes cannot but resist looking outside my window. The white lace curtains that hang delicately on our window softly move with the gentle breeze, and the morning sunlight that beams through these lace curtains is a sight to behold. The view is mesmerising.
But if you were to pull back these curtains, you would be in for a surprise. Behind these lace curtains, four feet away, is a towering white wall of a twenty-eight-year-old apartment building. The paint is peeling, there are visible black spots dotting the wall, several cracks run across it, and some of it has been shabbily covered up with grey cement. The small window right across our window has one of the glass frames broken and on a nearby windowsill lies dangerously chunks of broken stones. An eyesore.
So what makes the difference from beauty to behold to the ugliness that makes one want to cringe? For me, the lace curtains made the difference.
Jesus saw people differently. The world saw them as wretched, outcast, sinful and ugly, but Christ saw them as people who needed a Saviour.
In Mark’s narrative, as Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd followed him, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting on the roadside. And when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he cried out with a loud voice saying, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. The people around rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but Bartimaeus cried out all the more. Jesus stopped. What the world saw and heard was the blaring voice of a blind beggar; what Jesus saw and heard was a man of faith. Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”
John records an incident early one morning when Jesus came to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the midst, they said, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law of Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say? . What the world saw was an ugly and despicable sinner who deserved to be stoned to death, but what Jesus saw was a sinner who needed a Saviour. He pardons her and commands her to sin no more.
The famous song by Amy Grant sums it all…
She’s got her father’s eyes,
Her father’s eyes,
Eyes that find the good in things,
When good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help,
When help just can’t be found,
Eyes full of compassion,
Seeing every pain,
Knowing what you’re going through
And feeling it the same.
My friends, my prayer is that we see this world differently. May we see this world through the eyes of Jesus.
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