The Eye of the Beholder…

UpsideDownIMG_1486      RightSideUpIMG_1486

Sometimes right side up or upside down does not matter. Sometimes either way can make sense or be beautiful…either way can be a good thing.

I wonder how often people are discouraged, turned away or dismissed as not having the “right stuff” simply because of another’s inability to look beyond a piece(s) of the entire picture.

There is a saying about not judging a person by their appearance, but in this Year of Mercy, what about not judging a person, period? The thing is that no matter what I see in someone, or know of someone, I am not them. I do not know every step they have walked and what those steps have been like, and most importantly, I do not know what is in their hearts.

In addition, no matter how much I think I might know, the fact of the matter is, that I (we) very rarely have the whole picture. Without that, without taking the time to inquire and to look more closely, all we really have are assumptions and judgments, and all they do is limit the openness we have to another and the gifts he or she brings to this world. For all we know, we are holding each other back from being all we can be, and certainly, that must have a collective effect.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Imagine a world where everyone replaced time spent judging, assessing and competing with one another with time spent encouraging, helping one another and sharing our gifts, talents, time, and treasure…our faith, hope, and love. The times in which we live would be drastically different. The world would be on fire!

While one may think, “Fantasy!” They may be right. It may seem, and probably is, too idealistic and highly unlikely for such a change to occur throughout the world, by what seems like the hands of a few. However, it is not impossible.

It all starts with faith…faith in God, in oneself and in each other. We are created in God’s image. Surely, God’s grace rests upon us and is within us. It enables us to see clearly…to see the whole picture and makes us capable of having hearts that are wide like God’s mercy.

Lord, in this Year of Mercy, and beyond, help us to set the world on fire with hearts more deeply rooted in You.

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.

There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than in heaven;
there is no place where earth’s failings
have such kind judgment given.

There is plentiful redemption
in the blood that has been shed;
there is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of man’s mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more faithful,
we should take him at his word;
and our life would be thanksgiving
for the goodness of the Lord.

Frederick William Faber






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