When I read the scripture where it talks about the king blessing the ones that came and visited, fed, clothed and tended to the king, I am always struck by the apparent lack of knowledge of those that the king is blessing. When did we do those things FOR YOU? To which the king points out, if you did it for any of the least of these, members of my family, you did it for me.
Doing things for others in need is terrific and I am warmed when I see or read about kindness shared by people to one another, especially those that are forgotten or marginalized in our society. Some author called them the “least, the lost and the lonely.” But I wonder if there is not another component to our charity. I wonder if there is a call not to only “do” for others these things that Jesus speaks of, but to be able to “see” others as human beings, worthy of God’s love and our mercy. This slight change of vision might cause us to reach out beyond those who are obviously in need of our mercy.
It seems to me that in this age of divisiveness, everybody taking sides, opinions and ideology separating us from our own neighbors, that what we need is to put on some “Jesus glasses”. What I mean is to be able to see one another as God sees us, beloved. What would our world be like if we could view one another as God’s family, none greater or lesser than anyone else.
All humans, regardless of color, creed, political affiliation, gay, straight, transgender, all seen as God’s children and recipients of God’s mercy through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We say Christ died for all people; but do we SEE others in that light? How might our world, even our churches our neighborhoods, our cities and states, our nation change? What difference it would make if we could view one another not through the lens of our differences, but rather through the lens of God’s salvation. Maybe, just maybe, we could stop arguing long enough, stop fighting long enough, stop judging long enough to truly demonstrate the love that God has called us to.
Yes, please keep doing things for the poor, the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned; those are wonderful acts of kindness. But how can we see, and help one another see, that our taking sides and digging trenches around our position does not serve God’s kingdom. When we share memes on facebook that disparage another group of people, it matters not how many likes we get, it does not build up God’s kingdom. If we have any hope of living in some unity and harmony, we are going to need to use God’s vision because it is fairly obvious that ours is slightly off kilter. If we should ere in our interactions with others, may it be that we ere on the side of grace.