It had been a really long day.
6 am came too soon, and as usual, I was running late to the airport. Due to the extra few minutes I spent taming my hair, I was unable to stop by Sonic for my habitual Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.
The flight from Nashville to Houston was one of the bumpiest I’ve ever been on. And I fly. A lot. This year alone, it’s somewhere around 45,000 miles. No kidding.
Several people on our plane threw up and one even passed out on our descent into the stormy city of Houston.
Once in the terminal, I checked my next flight on the screens.
My 12 pm flight to Dallas was delayed until 1 pm.
Then 2 pm.
Then 3:15 pm.
Fortunately my phone alerted me a good fifteen minutes before they announced it so I was able to get in line early and snag a seat on the next flight out.
I have never been happier to be en route somewhere.
Dallas wasn’t my final destination though. After spilling Diet Coke on a very conspicuous area of my lap, landing, collecting my soaking wet luggage, and getting my rental car, I drove to Coppell, a suburb by the airport, to meet my mom and brother for a quick bite to eat before driving to Wichita Falls.
Normally a two hour drive isn’t anything to fret over.
But I was tired.
And my hair, which I so purposefully wasted time on, had succumbed to the humidity and easily doubled tripled in size.
At least I was in Texas.
I fit right in. (I’m a born and bred Texan, so, I can say that, okay?)
Shortly after midnight, I pulled into my hotel and knowing I would be sleeping in the same clothes I was wearing (as my PJs were drenched from the Monsoon), I rang the buzzer to the front desk.
A middle aged woman with few teeth and a bit of a scowl checked me into my room. Honestly, she kind of spooked me a bit. Enough that for once, safely inside my room, I locked all the locks on my door.
I looked in the mirror at my road-wearied face. My Diet Coke stained jeans. I looked like I had aged ten years in what was really just a ten hour journey.
The walls are a little thin at the hotel, and outside my room I can hear the scowly lady talking to someone.
Just hearing her words, her voice made me pause. My heart sunk as I realized what a jerk I had been to judge this woman for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
I think it would be safe to assume a middle aged woman who looks like she’s lived a lot of life probably didn’t plan on making $6 an hour working the midnight shift at a small town, Texas inn. And in my hurried, cranky, spoiled interaction with her, I didn’t view her through the eyes of love.
Leaning into the mirror more to look into my eyes I prayed, “God. Help me see people the way you see them. Help me see people through the eyes of love.”
It’s so easy for me to judge. To compare, contrast, and separate the worth of humanity within my own mind, and by my own eyes. As if somehow I have the right to do that.
Yet I do it.
I wonder what people look like through the eyes of love. I can’t say I’ve ever really set every agenda aside and simply narrowed my focus to see them the way Jesus would have seen them.
And so it’s my hope this week that I can open my heart a little bit.Open my mind.
And this week, may we all be challenged to look through the eyes of love.
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ooohhhh that is so challenging. I want to look through the eyes of love too. Thank you Anne. So much.
This hits close to home, very close. I am blessed to stay home with three small children – and who do I love more than my kids? – but many days the endless whining, messes and silly requests get to me. And anger comes out instead of love. I pray for God would teach me to see my kids like he sees me and respond with love and more love and more love no matter what. Because too often I just whine and make messes for God.
thank you for the reminder, Anne!
Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn says
WOW, what a powerful reminder that it is not all about us. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives that we forget that we are not here to serve ourselves or to be served, but to serve those that He places in our lives, and serve them with LOVE. Thanks Anne!
xoxo, Melissa in Mel’s World
This is my prayer, too. “More of YOU; Less of me, Jesus.” My prayer is that people see Jesus in my eyes, too. Amen.
btw, Anne, I see Jesus in your eyes. Keep shinin’ sister.
I can so relate to Abbie. Oh how different my house would be if I succeeded more at seeing my children more through His eyes. If my responses to them in tough moments came out of His love in my heart and not my own inadequate humanity.
Holy Spirit how I need you today, guard my lips and allow your presence to shine through my words and actions today.
Brandon Heath’s song “Give Me Your Eyes” speaks of this. Oh how different the world would be if we could all look through His eyes for just 1 second.
You’ve reminded me and challenged me again with this post.
Kristie Jackson says
Amazing when we do have those glimmers of what He sees, how altogether lovely and lovable people are.
JD in Canada says
And when we see people through His eyes, we love them, we serve them, we shine Jesus for them… and in doing so “for the least of these”, we do it also for Him.
It’s a beautiful gift to give. It’s an honor that should not be taken lightly. Thank you for putting it into words so beautifully.
Thanks for sharing. I need a constant reminder – that there is a world outside of “me”. It’s all about love.
Paula Jean says
Thank you for sharing! It was just the reminder I needed today!
Gail Schuppenhauer says
I am so glad that you posted this message today. I needed it and so do many others. I have shared it with some of my friends today. I like (in) courage for it is from “real people” to “real people”.
I can totally relate! Even when I desire to do so, it is difficult to really see through His eyes and respond accordingly (both in mind and action). As always, thanks for sharing!
What a beautiful post.
At first I would say, “even” in the challenging times, but maybe “especially” in the challenging times. Such a great illustration!
Sarah Mae says
This is such an awesome post! You have challenged me, and I accept. Thank you!
I love the verse that reminds us how man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart! I want to see through HIS eyes!!
orville barba says
wow.. amazing… Anne.. well said.. sometimes we forgot sharing others the love Jesus taught us.. you’re right… everyone should not be judged on what we see but rather look at them as creations perfectly crafted by God… thanks for this post,,, may the Lord God bless you in everything you do..
orville barba says
another… i love the design of this site…
Wonderful post. Makes for some very deep, introverted looking!
Ivette Rosinski says
Thank you – I needed this just now.
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary says
thanks. great essay, great reminder.
i spend inordinate amounts of time thinking really awful things about other people. it’s not cool…
Jenn Calling Home says
I’ve been getting those little nudges lately myself. Always uncomfortable when I catch myself judging another…one of His creations. I think judging is the complete opposite of loving. Thanks for sharing your story.
Pete/Sparkle of Nature says
Hallelujah! Today I WAS able to get InCourage; last week our connection was too slow and it would not come up.
Your article had well worth while thoughts for all of us to consider. And I’ll bet that, even while you were writing it, you thought of the elderly, apparently homeless man you described in your last regular blog – whose circumstances probably were exactly what they seemed, but MAY have been quite different. Like the lady you described today.
I had all kinds of stereotypes once. You know – ALL the homeless are on alcohol or drugs, or were just plain lazy. Then God put us – myself, my wife, and two teen age children – through six years of homelessness (living in a tent trailer in about 40 different campgrounds), just because the then-president (the senior Bush) decided we did’t need nearly as many defense workers anymore. That made me very careful about stereotypes. We literarlly met hundreds of other people in those campgrounds who’d been even better off than we had. Most of them lost their homes and ended up with us in those campgrounds for one of three reasons: they’d been laid off, they’d gotten sick and insurance, if any, wouldn’t let them keep their homes, or they’d been divorced. No alcohol. No drugs. And they were all hard workers.
How we treat all those people IS how we treat Jesus (“what you have done to these my brothers, you have done to me.” Whether that’s person-to-person, through our community agencies, or through the Feds. Each works better for some people. And we all need to care, and to work together to please God.
thanks for that reminder to view co-workers & bosses in His loving light.
Heather Gemmen Wilson says
One of my favorite verses is Mark 6:34. Jesus looks at us and has compassion. Your post is a beautiful reminder of that. Thanks!