"Jesus, it seems to me, would teach...that it is always a privilege to help anybody, because all men are of the same caste, the very highest caste. They are all sons of God. They are men in which God dwells. And, indeed, I think it is not poetic fancy merely, but the naked truth. That by coming to men with nothing but a loving desire to help them you do actually come near to God Himself; perhaps nearer than when you kneel before the altar."
This is yet another quote from the remarkable book I've been talking about in the last few posts, Leslie Weatherhead's The Transforming Friendship. I love this one because it speaks to the deepest part of me. It just sums it all up for me. It warms me to read something like this. It also convicts me to the core.
How many sermons have we heard on "The Naked Truth" that dealt more with what we should or should not do as Christians than on living a life of love? We are so busy trying to fix everyone and make them more like us when the image of God Himself resides in them somewhere already. We need to find a way to see that and call that forth in each other rather than trying to fix or change people because they make us uncomfortable.
I read once , "To love another person is to see the image of God in them. That unique spark entrusted only to them..." (I read this in the fanstastic book Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship by Paul J. Waddell). I am always so grateful when others see past my obvious imperfections and look instead for Jesus in me. I want to do this more often with others I encounter, in friends and in those that frustrate me. I know that doing so would make me a much more patient, gracious person. It would soften my spirit and make me more like Jesus. Most importantly of all, it would bring me closer to God Himself. And nothing but good can come of that connection!
Weatherhead has really done nothing more in this book than remind us of what Jesus instructed us to do throughout His earthly ministry: love God and love people. So simple and yet so complex. Really it is only complex because we make it that way. If we would stop and seek to see God in each person we encounter (and I would argue most especially ourselves first, as this enables us to see it in others) we would find ourselves more content and more at peace...with ourselves and others.
I know some people who are already seasoned veterans at this and I envy them a little. I long to be more like that myself. I'm done talking about it. I think I'm going to go for it! Want to join me?