The “Eyes” Have It
© Jeanne E. Webster
Have you missed opportunities to present Christ to others? I have and their names are forever etched upon my heart.
I’ll share with you a most difficult time I had projecting my Christian witness. Shortly after I sold my house, I moved into a small apartment. Pets were not allowed so I had to sell Jake, my cockatiel. Advertising in the local paper brought only one phone inquiry. The prospective buyer stopped by my home to inspect Jake, sharing a lot about his life as he petted Jake. My heart became troubled at first by his revelations and soon turned to revulsion when I learned more details of his deviant, immoral lifestyle. I became so perplexed and distraught over selling Jake to this person that I prayed he would not want to buy him. Alas, he did, and what could I do except close the deal.
After Jake and the man left, I came to my senses as the message was hammered home in my heart: You missed another one, Jeanne! However, I did have some consolation. I had begun to teach Jake to talk, and the only words he could say were “Praise the Lord!” Yes, I missed the opportunity, but Jake will be repeating that phrase until the day he dies. Praise the Lord!
Back to “seeing Jesus” in our fellow-man, I struggle at times to see Jesus in members of my family and close friends. Does familiarity breed contempt? Does familiarity blind us from seeing their needs?
We present a softer heart towards strangers, as judgment does not surface to the forefront. The prejudices are not at work; it’s as if the slate is wiped clean and charity comes forth swiftly and easily. The contact is usually a one-time encounter…charity given, and life goes on to the next encounter.
However, family members and friends we interact with daily or frequently are a different matter. We know all their foibles, we’ve been around the bend with them, misunderstandings are rife, and it takes all we can muster in the spirit to see Jesus in them. It is a very humbling experience, to say the least. The monster within is still lurking inside the body, waiting to be let loose on their poor souls.
Thanks to Almighty God, His strength is greater than our weaknesses, and charity reigns eternal. After one of these experiences, one becomes stronger and wiser in their faith and of a much humbler spirit.