Underneath, we are the same. We all have beating hearts counting our moments on this planet. We all experience intense joy, debilitating despair, paralyzing fear. We are all eternal souls clothed in frail flesh.
Can we see that in one another? Can we look at the person–known or unknown–next to us and see they are the same?
My challenge is for all of us to look deeply in the face of everyone we see today. See them. Really SEE them. Pass beyond their color, age, gender, clothing choices. Look into their eyes. What is reflected there? Do we see their humanity? Do we see they are created in the image of an almighty God who loves them?
Now. Can we show kindness to them because of this? Can we smile? Can we ask them how their day is? Can we pick up and return something they dropped? Can we let them cut us off in traffic without getting angry? Can we show them mercy in a thousand ways because we ourselves have received much mercy?
This is what it means when we say we must overcome evil with love. I don’t know who said it, but in the midst of all this tragedy, love must be a verb. It’s not a feeling. Love must DO. This is how we change culture. This is how we heal. This is how we thrive.
We MUST esteem (consider) others higher than ourselves. This is the real challenge. Jesus Christ doesn’t demand this, but he modeled it for us with raw beauty. He embraced lepers, prostitutes, widows, Pharisees, tax collectors, Gentiles, fishermen, Samaritans, centurions, children, those who believed him, and those who rejected him. Every person he encountered, he loved.
“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me,” he said. “Because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…”
Can we who are called by his name do any less?