We live in a world of constant noise and chaos. The noise from ringing cell phones, keyboards on a laptop, and news blaring 24 hours a day, can be deafening, It can drown out the “still small voice” of the Lord in the Holy Spirit. If we are not careful, the world will be the only voice we hear and its agenda will be the only vision we see.
What if we took a moment to look around at others? What if we stopped, cast our gaze up from our screens and onto the passer-by, and really….deeply….truly saw that person? What if, just for a moment, we saw others rather than looking past them. Jesus tells us in John 15:12 to "love others as I have loved you." Jesus sees us. He knows us intimately. He does not look beyond us or past us, rather He looks inside us. He sees us for who we are in the depths of our heart and whole being. He sees us and we are called to see others as well. Not just with the limitations of human eyesight. Not just on the surface. We are called to love deeper, see deeper, and go deeper.
To the woman, like Queen Esther, forced to take a stand for faith against an ungodly company, I see you.
To the woman, like Queen Vashti, who feels treated like a sexual object rather than a person with dignity, I see you.
To the young girl staring at two pink lines on the test through a flood of tears facing an unplanned pregnancy, I see you.
To the man who lives in fear of those in uniform and authority because they refuse to see your value and hate you for no reason, I see you.
To the mother forced to teach her child how to respond to the police simply because of the color of his skin so he will come home alive, I see you.
To the police officer suiting up in the morning feeling hated by those he seeks to serve and protect, simply because of the uniform he wears, I see you.
To the woman so ashamed of her past that she believes she must create a new one and retell the false creation of her past to all who ask, I see you.
To the devastated father who was just told by his girlfriend she will be getting an abortion and there is nothing he can do to stop her, I see you.
To the man who harbors hate in his heart against someone simply because of the zip code where they reside, I see you.
To the neighbor whose friends have turned against him because of his political choice, I see you.
To the disabled man in the wheelchair who receives side glances, whispers, and glares because others feel your disability is because of you’re overweight without knowing you’re overweight because of your disability, I see you.
To the grandmother suffering from dementia who cannot even remember your own children when they look you in the eye, I see you.
To the daughter trying to provide care for your aging mother and feeling guilty for being frustrated and stressed, I see you.
To the mom working three jobs just to keep the rent paid and food on table for you and your son, I see you.
To the young cashier at the retail store trying to figure out what you will do with your life, I see you.
To the child who quietly squashes the cockroach scrambling across the counter and doesn’t tell your mom because it will make her feel ashamed, I see you.
To the white couple who seem to have it all and others judge you as privileged, arrogant, and judgmental while refusing to get to know your heart, I see you.
To the woman walking into an abortion clinic because she feels she has no hope or choice, I see you.
To the mom plucking at her guitar because music helps heal the broken heart of divorce, I see you.
To the teenager feeling alone, hated, unaccepted, and tossed to the side, I see you.
To the youth telling his mom he is sick because he does not want to board the school bus. He knows the bullies are waiting, I see you.
To the homosexual who feels rejected and spit upon by the world because of your sin and lifestyle, I see you.
To the alcoholic who drowns the nightmares of PTSD in a bottle, I see you.
To the sailor returning home to see his parents after being away at war, I see you.
To the Marine who left the war, but the war never left him, I see you.
To the drug addict stealing from stores and eating out of dumpsters for the next fix, I see you.
To the dad struggling to pay the bills and embarrassed to tell his kids he can’t send them to camp, I see you.
To the widow standing over a flag draped coffin of the husband who gave it all, I see you.
To the black man just fighting to make a difference and be a success against a world already determined on breaking him down, I see you.
To the Hispanic working in the fields to send money back home to his family, I see you.
To the migrant, like Joseph, Mary and Jesus, fleeing from danger and seeking protection, I see you.
To the mother wondering if the name she gave her child will eventually become a name judged on a college application before the young girl even presents her credentials, I see you.
To the teenager lifting weights and running daily because a sports scholarship is likely the only you will be able to go to college, I see you.
To the man kissing his wife goodnight only to get up after she’s asleep to watch pornography, I see you.
To the CEO wondering how he will pay his employees while facing the reality he must choose who loses their livelihood, I see you.
To the engineer who, on the outside looks like he has it all, but secretly stares at a bank account edging closer to the red, I see you.
To the homeless man sleeping under the bridge and begging for food, I see you.
To the elderly man left alone in the retirement center whose children have neglected visits and ignored phone calls, I see you.
To the sales representative boarding a plane home struggling to decide how to tell his wife the deal fell through, and he can’t pay the mortgage, I see you.
To the child harassing a classmate because he looks darker than him, I see you.
To the teenager being beaten by a gang to become a member of what he believes will be a family and provide protection, I see you.
To the man staring at the pistol in his hand overshadowed by depression, a sense of being worthless and useless, who sees no way out, I see you.
To the teen frozen by grief looking at your friend’s headstone who was gone too early and you vow not another teen will fall to gun violence, I see you.
To the boy sitting in the classroom unable to read but too ashamed to let others know, I see you.
To the child sitting on the front porch waiting for a father who will never come, because he never keeps his promises to come, I see you.
To the inmate behind bars feeling rejected and judged by society, I see you.
To the man slipping off his wedding ring to meet another woman, I see you.
To the woman crying at night on her bed because her husband once again has a “late night work appointment”, I see you.
To the farmer struggling to keep your crops alive because there has not been rain in weeks, I see you.
To the medical professional giving your life to help others and save lives while struggling with health issues of your own, I see you.
To the father who just received news his child is dying, I see you.
To the sister asked by police to identify her brother’s body, I see you.
To the social worker on the clock all hours of the day and night to protect children, while battling the demons of the horrific sights you have witnessed, I see you.
To the missionary landing for the first time on foreign soil and wondering where you start, I see you.
To the college student saying goodbye to your parents while holding back tears and a feeling of loneliness, I see you.
To the teacher writing lesson plans with the face and name of every student on your mind, I see you.
To the garbage man, no matter the heat or the cold, throwing the trash of others in the truck every day while aching for the trash of sin in your own life to be cleaned up, I see you.
To the janitor pouring mop water in the bucket and staring out the window overlooking the city while believing you do not matter, I see you.
To the woman struggling with if you still believe in God because it feels God has abandoned you, I see you.
To the man whose work puts him on a plane more than at home in his own bed, I see you.
To the single mom punching the clock again for long hours in order to pay the water bill while missing your son’s first ballgame, I see you.
To the dad suiting up in camouflage half a world away while staring at a computer screen seeing your child born, I see you.
To the teenager who has never experienced racism or rejection just because of the color of your skin yet can’t realize how lucky you are, I see you.
To the child not wanting to go home after school because a beating from your stepfather will be waiting, I see you.
To the bride who can’t stop smiling while anxiously awaiting to walk down the aisle, I see you.
To the child just wanting to be loved by a mother too busy to notice you, I see you.
To the musician painted with tattoos and judged as a rebel or lazy by society, I see you.
To the highway worker building a way for others to travel, while wondering where your life’s road will take you, I see you.
To the drug dealer resorting to selling illegal drugs to even minors because that is all you have ever known in life, I see you.
To the man, who, for the first time in your life is on your knees crying out to God, I see you.
To the lonely, rejected, hated, judged, stereotyped, disregarded, dismissed, unloved, and ignored, I see you. To the loved, happy, healthy, accepted, protected, sheltered, and highly-regarded, I see you.
It’s time we begin seeing people and not just looking at them. It’s time to rise up and see what is under the skin rather than what is on the surface. It’s time we start seeing others the way Christ sees them. I dare you to try.