I saw the movie, “Avatar”, the other day. I have some issues with the theology that pervades the story, but that’s a subject for another post. What I remember most was their greeting and their farewell – “I see you”.
As one character explained it to another, it is not just that you notice the person (or other living being) but that you see into them. You truly see them for themselves. I found that an intriguing idea that makes for a genuine greeting. I began to wonder how often it is that we fail to “see” those around us, even those in front of us. It seems to me that embracing this idea would do wonders for our personal relationships.
And as I pondered the concept of “seeing others for who they really are” I realized I’ve heard stories about this idea from years ago. It was Jesus who looked at a woman caught in adultery and saw not a sinner but a woman who longed for grace. As others dragged her out like she was an object to be ridiculed, Jesus, in a sense, looked at her and said, “I see you.”
Another time there was a man, short of stature and disliked by many. His name was Zacchaeus and he was a tax collector who was hated by the people because of his double-dealing and outright thievery. He climbed up in a tree to see Jesus as he passed by. And Jesus could have just passed by with nary a glance at this questionable character. Instead, Jesus called him down and invited himself to lunch at Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus “saw” him – more than seeing his unethical behavior Jesus saw who God created him to be.
Jesus “sees” you the same way. He doesn’t see you for your mistakes, he doesn’t look at you in light of your sin and rebellion, he “sees you”. He sees you as you were created to be. And because he sees you that way he loves you for who you are and who you are created to be.
When Jesus is the master who directs our life and our thinking, when the Spirit of God that lives in Jesus lives in us, we too can “see” with his eyes. We can see others – not just notice them but truly see them. And when we truly see them we can love them as a person created by God.
We once were blind, but now we see.
Holy high five to you, Mike