One child clamped between arm and hip. Snot dripping down his face. Hair messed up and cheeks smeared with a days worth of dirt, play, and food. He’s reaching for the apples, but she doesn’t notice. She is too busy trying not to drop him, putting apples in a bag and trying to keep her other children from playing toss the produce.
I hope she doesn’t see me. I just want to shop and go home.
But, she does. Our eyes meet and she gives me half-hearted smile.
Ugh. I sigh. And turn my cart around.
When you stand at our mostly glass front door it looks clean, save for a few dog nose prints in the middle of the glass. But as I sat on the floor cleaning the molding I realized the glass was really filthy. A film of dust, life and dog drool and settled over the beautiful door. Making the world outside seem dim and dull. I began to wipe it away. Stunned I looked at the difference in the view through the pieces of glass.
How often do I see the world through my eyes? A filter of selfishness, anger, sadness or fatigue hiding the true beauty God has laid in front of me. How often to I miss what He sees in people because I am busying judging them by what I see? Or think I see?
Standing there in the produce section of the grocery store. Tired. Feeling selfish and worn out. I didn’t want to see His daughter, I wanted to see the woman who is hard to love and her out of control children. I wanted to turn and go about my business.
But I couldn’t. I didn’t.
Father, give me your eyes for this woman and her children.
And then…He did.
The closer I got I began to see her features. Fatigue and stress hung heavy over her face nearly veiling her deep blue eyes and flawless lips. Her laugh lines emerged as she forced a smile for me. And as she shifted her son on her hip she grazed his forehead with a kiss. A fleeting gesture of love that lit his face and showed his dimples.
As I approached we exchanged pleasantries and I asked how she was. Tears in her eyes she looked at the ceiling and told me she was okay. Looking from her children to me and back to her children I followed the mommy code for I’m not, but I can’t say it in front of them.
I took her little boy out of her arms. Wiped his nose and gave him my keys. He flashed his dimples at me and at his mama.
There over the din of rattling keys and squabbling children we chatted. Nothing deep. Nothing intense. Nothing life changing. Just two mothers exchanging stories of life in the trenches of diapers, school, sibling rivalry, housework and more. I gave her my number and promised I was there if she needed someone to talk to, someone to listen.
I gave her back her son and extricated my drool-covered keys from his tight little grasp.
Days later. A text message shared with me how much that random moment had meant to her. A brief reminder that life is tough and we moms are all doing the very best we can.
I see her differently now in my mind’s eye. I see that beautiful woman with deep blue eyes and lashes that beg to be at the center of a mascara commercial. I see a mama with so much love for her children that she puts on a brave face for them and kisses their messy faces when the rest of the world is scowling at them. I see a woman so in need of love that Jesus’ love overwhelms her and scares her to tears….I see shades of me.
Father, thank you for showing me how important is to see people through Your eyes. Continue to clean my lens, Father God, help me to see the beauty and the need for you….no judgements, no worldly standards. Thank you for a reminder that we are all broken and in need of love. And thank you, that for just a moment I could point someone to the love the pours from Heaven. Amen.
Is it hard for you to see someone for who they are in Christ vs. who they are in our eyes or judgments?
Do you find it is easier to view someone you’ve never met through a clean lens? Why or why not?
How can we continually clean our lenses so that we might see people clearly through Jesus?