It’s funny how blinding vision can be. I sometimes think that our ability to see with our eyes can inhibit our ability to see with our souls. I have really poor eyesight. Without the help of my contacts, I have no more than 6 inches of vision (and that may be pushing it). Bad eyesight makes you appreciate good eyesight so much. My husband can wake up at any time of the night and read the clock. It’s something he never thought of as a privilege until our marriage. I find it absolutely amazing. I recently took a shower while wearing my contacts (it’s my normal routine not to wear them). In my many months of showering before this day, I enjoyed the bliss of a very clean shower. In fact, I never once gave its cleanliness a thought. So for whatever reason my routine was broken and I wore my “eyes” that day…and I was horrified. Our shower was far from clean. There was all sorts of mold growing in there. The difference between what I thought my shower was like and what it was really like was vast.
My first thought, after the initial disgust, was… am I like this with sin in my life? Do I think I’m all sparkly clean when really I’m overtaken with slimy, spreading nastiness? The answer is yes. The only thing that is sparkly clean about me is Christ’s righteousness given to me by a merciful God. I am far nastier than I can comprehend and God is far cleaner than I can even imagine. My next thought was, things can be so different than they seem. I started looking at all of life as if I had just put in “spiritual contacts”. I began looking at people and asking, Who is the soul inside the person? There are many things that can prevent me from seeing past an outward impression . Maybe it’s that the person offends me, or they look entirely different, or they subscribe to political views that oppose mine. The list could go on and on (…perhaps each of us should evaluate the things that are on our “list”). At the end of the day, everything on my list is really just an excuse, justifying the invisible wall I’ve built between me and them. The more I learn about God, the more I realize that He consistently deals with all of us on a soul level. As a masterful Potter, He shapes our experiences for our souls, not our behaviors. Eventually, Christ -shaped souls will yield Christ-like behaviors.
“For the love of Christ controls us; because we have concluded this: that One has died for all…From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.” (2 Corinthians 5:14a, 16) Regard no one according to the flesh. My, how that changes things. Each interaction with a person is a possible influence on a soul. The stranger who I pass in the grocery store is a soul. The physically sick and dying man is a soul closer to life than ever before. The children borne to us are spongy souls, soaking in their entire environment. It’s a new way of seeing. It’s a new way of loving and investing. It’s a new way of relating, and thinking of every interaction as something that urges a soul toward God or away from Him. It’s a new appreciation of grace. God does not regard His people according to our sin-soaked flesh. He regards us as souls, hidden away in Christ, and destined for eternal fellowship with him.
Lord, give me your grace as I interact with the souls you place in my path. Thank you for cleansing me, teaching me, and mercifully moving my soul closer to You. Amen