I was praying as I merged onto I-70 this morning. . . but this time it wasn’t prompted by the erratic driving around me. I was just in my “discussing life with Jesus” groove.
(I’m reminded that people who don’t have a personal relationship with Him never understand such statements–sounds presumptuous at best and hyper-religious at worst–but those in the Family know the blessing of gaining God’s perspective on the spontaneous things of life.)
At any rate, as I merged with the traffic headed westbound, I thought how unusual my life is (historically & culturally) just because I was blessed to be born in modern America. We may stress about commuting but I can’t think of one person I know who would opt to park their car and revert to a horse & buggy, vowing to live the rest of their life within a 30-mile radius. Indeed the Amish are intriguing, no doubt, but once mobile/always mobile for most of us. We like the profound possibilities offered by a gas-powered motor and low fuel prices!
Indeed consider our mobility in light of the resulting brief exposure we have to other human beings each day. Instead of seeing the cars competing for space on the busy freeway, this morning I began to think about their drivers. How diverse! How interesting! Each person with a story, coming from somewhere, negotiating their way somewhere else. All gifted, intelligent and attractive in their own unique way. Honest, hardworking men and women breathing the same air as those who would corrupt and prey on them. Sad but true, even that human dynamic is interesting.
Untold millions of glancing blows. Those whose lives will never intersect with mine, despite the “degrees of separation” theory, except for that brief innocuous interaction on the highway or in the checkout line. How many such strangers do you suppose we come into contact with in the course of one average lifetime in this country? And how attentive are we to anyone else?
But ponder the imponderable. . .what if the concealed was revealed around you? What if your every glimpse yielded in-depth knowledge? What if your view of others always include the total package? What if your eyes always peered beneath the surface reality? It’s a staggering thought, really.
As I considered the hypothetical lives of those around me this morning, the Holy Spirit brought His question. When Jesus looked at the crowds of His day, what did He see? He saw each individual history, each unique circumstance, the temperature of each relationship. He contemplated their motivation and what each one valued. He knew the condition of each heart. Absolutely nothing could be hidden from Him. Can you even imagine having two such searching eyes fixed on you? The very eyes of immutable, omniscient God!
Hebrews 4:13 warns, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
In His piercing assessment of the rich young ruler who strategically sought out Jesus because he was interested in “gaining” eternal life, the Word tells us that Jesus’ righteous judgment was prefaced in this way, “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Jesus knew that this man was particularly interested in gaining, not losing, and that this was a barrier to what he sought. But, most notably, even with His comprehensive unbiased view of what this successful young man carefully concealed from others, Jesus framed His truthful assessment with love.
What does this have to do with driving down I-70? A lot of things but I need to wrap this up. Simply put, Jesus knows more . . .and loves more. I tend to know less . . .and love less. His unobstructed view turns up some sick and sorry sin but it never clouds His love for me . . .and you!
I’m glad I don’t have His unobstructed view because no telling what I”d do with such knowledge. But I need to strive to see, really see, what He does reveal about those around me and that discernment needs to result in love, regardless of what else I might be called to do.
John is known as the apostle who felt strongly about this subject. I hear him say with emotion, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
If you cross my path in some way, I pray you find me doing just that.
Moved by His wisdom and living by His grace,