Jesus gave us a new way of seeing. He did this through his parables and teachings; he did this through his life.
Jesus often said, “Behold!” That’s just another way of saying, “Look!” or “Look again!” Jesus said things like these:
See that Samaritan you’ve labeled your enemy? Look again and you will see a man whose compassion far exceeds your own.
See that woman you’ve called a whore? Look again and you will see a woman filled with extravagant love.
See that Roman centurion you’ve dubbed a godless and violent member of the occupational forces? Look again and you will see a person of unparalleled faith and tenderness.
See that widow you’ve called a cheapskate for putting only two coins into the temple treasury? Look again and you will see a woman whose generosity knows no bounds.
See that tax collector you’ve called a traitor? Look again and you will see a humble and loyal disciple of mine.
See those lilies of the field and birds of the air that you’ve taken for granted? Look again and you will see a consoling image of God’s provident care for you.
See me hanging on the cross, an event you’ve thought of as a tragic end, a terrible disappointment, a horrific failure? Look again and you will see my boundless love for you, my absolute trust in Abba, and the gate of heaven opening to eternal life.
I have a kaleidoscope that I keep handy. It doesn’t have multicolored pieces of glass at the end as many kaleidoscopes have. Instead it has a clear prism at the end. This means it takes whatever you’re looking at and transforms it into breath-taking patterns.
The symbolism for me is quite clear. The lens we look through determines what we see. Our Christian faith is a magnificent lens that enables us to see reality as Jesus sees reality. At times it enables us to see beautiful and hopeful patterns that lie beneath ordinary or even disheartening appearances.
Most of you are probably familiar with the initials WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? It’s a good question to ask ourselves regularly. But we could also ask: WWJS: What Would Jesus See? In other words, what would Jesus notice? How would he view this person, this event, or this situation?
Is there someone or something in your life right now that needs to be looked at through another lens?
PS: I’m back from the retreat I facilitated in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Mercy Sisters were a beautiful group of women to be with: prayerful, kind, dedicated, and fun. The ocean, sand, and sun formed a breathtaking environment. Thank you for your prayers!