Do you see this woman?

Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.                    A woman in the city, who was a sinner,          stood behind him at his feet, weeping,          and began to bathe his feet with her tears….          He said, “Do you see this woman?”                   —Luke 7.37, 44

No, we do not see. To one of Jesus’ most arresting questions, we have to answer: we don’t see her. We see our prejudices and stereotypes. We see our fears and projections. We don’t see this woman; we see what we think of her. We see a sinner. We see someone disrupting our dinner. We see someone who makes us uncomfortable. Which is to say, we see our judgment, our expectations, our discomfort. We see our own stuff. We don’t see her.

But Jesus saw this woman, really saw her. He saw her pain and her strength, her gratitude, her courage, her transformation. He saw the precious value of her gift. He saw her soul at work. He saw God’s grace in her.

Jesus really saw people. He saw who they were and knew their story, not because he had ESP but because he paid attention. The woman at the well, the bent over woman, the rich man, Bartimaeus, the woman who touched him in a crowd… he really saw people because he wanted to. He paid attention. And there was healing in his seeing. What he saw in people was not their flaws but the mercy of God. And seeing the grace was like sunlight on plants: it made people heal and grow and bear fruit.

God, help me really see. Help me set aside my feelings and judgments, and see whole people, your beloved, precious souls. Help me see myself: help me notice my projections, and name my fears and expectations; help me confess my blinders and set them aside so I can see. Beloved, help me really see people, really see your grace, really see at all. Beloved, I want to see.  

          Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

__________________ Steve Garnaas-Holmes Unfolding Light

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