Okay, it is not yet medically or technologically possible to transplant an eyeball. That would be incredible, but what is possible is a spiritual eyeball transplant.
Most of us don’t think of ourselves as someone who unfairly judges or stereotypes others, but I find that for myself it happens automatically in a passive way. My vision is faulty. There are those I just quite naturally avoid, not because I am trying to be mean, but because I see them as different and therefore uncomfortable or undesirable to interact with. I have pigeonholed people based on their appearance and even more on their behavior. This ranges from the mentally ill to the high-powered businessman.
I gauge people around me according to how it works for me, which is obviously self-centered. My suggestion is that we tap into a pair of eyes that have not only x-ray vision, but see the best and see the greatest potential in everyone.
Being a spiritual person means having spiritual eyes that you use to look beyond circumstances, with a deeper knowledge of the spiritual world that is busy at work behind the scenes. We know that the spiritual world is more real than this physical world we see, touch, taste and smell. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Unfortunately, I think I get caught up in my own internal and external struggles so much that I miss the forest for the trees and end up walking more in the flesh than in the spirit. This can be especially true in how I see others around me.
In the Wisdom of Tenderness, Brennan Manning says, “Most of the time we’re wrong in our judgment of others. The tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than what they are and who they might become.”
I remember talking to a volunteer after an outreach to the homeless that The Relief Bus was part of. She told me, “When you trained us how to talk to homeless people, I didn’t really believe that they would want to have anything to do with me. It turned out that I had some wonderful conversations tonight that were really meaningful.” Her eyes were opened to find out she had more in common with the homeless than she had imagined and that they not only wanted to talk with her, they liked her. A lot.
Our preconceptions are just that, preconceptions. I think most are subconscious and it is a good idea to recognize them and put them in a new light, the light of the gospel.
Relief Bus staffer Jim Berry is great at seeing people on the streets through God’s eyes
When I was a pastor of a church for the homeless called CityTribe, we spoke prophetically to our congregation, “We see you as pastors, teachers, prophets and healers.” We tried to see what could be in people and speak it out into the air to bring new vision.
Many people settle into the role that their family, friends and society paints for them. If they are told that they aren’t smart, they accept that. If they are told they can’t succeed, they live out that lifestyle.
Think of the people who saw more in you than you did in yourself. How might God use us to prophetically speak His heart into others, the way that someone else did for us? We then become nurses assisting God, the surgeon, in his spiritual eyeball transplants. My mother told me when I was sixteen that she thought I would make a great lead guitarist. I quickly told her how difficult and impossible that was. I was a beginner at the time and a terrible musician. Those words resonated in me however and I have now written hundreds of songs and played music all over the world.
Jesus spoke life and vision into people all the time. He told the irrepressible and many times flakey Peter that he was a rock. He called things that “be not as though they were.” He was able to do that because he had the Father’s perspective on people.
When we look at the poor, the sinner, the failure or even ourselves do we have God’s perspective? Is it time for the Lord to break the broken goggles we look through so that we can see clearly? Could we then help others to see as well? Let’s make an appointment in prayer for that spiritual eyeball transplant. I’m tired of being blind.
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