Thursday, 19 December 2013

Seeing Others

It is an interesting question as to how we see others.  We are, on the whole, pretty good at putting people into pigeon holes, categorising them, and we need to learn how not to do that.

One of the clear indicators in the Gospels is that Jesus valued everyone.  He saw each person he encountered, whatever their background or role, as someone loved and valued by God.

Brian McLaren makes the point well.  Writing about how we should regard those of other faiths (in "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Moses Cross the Road?, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012) he comments: "According to the four Gospels, Jesus had extraordinary insight into human character.  He saw value where others saw only flaws.  He saw the love of a sinful woman who anointed his feet with tears at a banquet, the spiritual thirst of an oft-married woman at a well in Samaria, the big seed of hope in a little chap named Zacchaeus, the undeniable faith of a Syrophoenecian mother, the flinty strength of loudmouth Peter and the deep and spunky wisdom of Mary of Bethany.  With that track record in mind, we can only imagine what he would see in Mohammed, Moses or the Buddha .... "

In the same kind of way, let's be open to the gifts and graces of all whom we encounter, remembering that those who are not like us may have something very special to offer us.

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