Later that day I had an appointment with another young woman, a new friend. We meet regularly to study the Word together and share our stories. In our conversation we talked about how difficult it can be for us to truly grasp the deep love of the Father for us. Until we are absolutely convinced of the love of Jesus for us no matter what choices we have made, we will never go to the deep places with Jesus. We will always hold Him at a distance until we are willing to be vulnerable with the Savior about the pain and brokenness in our hearts.
We talked about the need to find a small community of believers to connect with in her new married life. I remember how significant that was for Ken and I as a young married couple. It is so important for us to engage in a community of believers who can encourage us, challenge us and motivate us in our faith journey. As we looked at the Word together, I looked deep in her eyes and saw hope and beauty in her willingness to be vulnerable with the struggles in her life. We only met a few months ago, yet there is such a deep connection in friendship. God had answered my prayer.
That evening I went to choir practice. The choir has been our close community of believers for so many years. We have shared the deepest parts of our lives with them….our struggles, our brokenness and our joy. We have prayed together, loved together, laughed and cried together, worshipped together and shared our faith journeys. I don’t know how we would have made it through some of our darkest seasons without their love and prayers. And I knew when I walked through the doors that night I would experience beauty. Beauty beyond the soaring melodies of our songs, but beauty in the hearts of those who love me and whom I love. Beauty in our willingness to be vulnerable with one another in our stories. Of course, it’s not perfect, because we’re not perfect. But we try to love one another well.
We can only love as deeply as we choose to let others see past the protective walls we sometimes put up between us. And yes, there is risk in being known. There are many things that keep us from letting others into our lives. Fear, pain, insecurity, disappointment, feeling disregarded or devalued. And there are wounds sometimes, wounds in the church, in community. I have been in all of those places too. God blessed me with a very outgoing, vulnerable, loving husband. His eyes see with the gift of mercy. Those eyes have faithfully pushed me and our community of believers into those places of vulnerability and the risk of being fully known. I have come to believe it is worth the risk. I was reminded of that truth in the encounters the Savior designed for my life on that day last week.
and He keeps His covenant to see us fully— and never leave us, ever.
Because the Vulnerable God was forsaken on the cross — we get to be fully seen with our crosses --
and never left, never abandoned, never forsaken.
This is the covenant we can know and we can give — so we are known as His.
Why…. because His heart longs to bring healing into those broken places.
“And Jesus, when he came out, saw many people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
Every day we have the opportunity to see others with the eyes of Jesus, eyes of compassion. We need God-sight. When we learn to see with God’s eyes, we see glimpses of hope at what is possible with Christ and the beauty that lies within each of us. Every day we encounter strangers, friends and family - some lonely, some lost, some hurting, some desperately needing someone to listen, even a stranger. Sometimes people just need to share their story. We can ask the Father to awaken our perception so that our eyes will see where the mercy, compassion, grace and love of Jesus is needed.
Is there someone in your life who needs the compassionate eyes of Jesus from you?
Ask the Father to give you His eyes to see and His heart of love for the broken today.
Then ask Him to give you the wisdom, discernment and courage to respond faithfully so that others see the reflection of Jesus in your eyes. Sometimes He leads us to speak, sometimes we simply need to listen and see.
Learning to see with His eyes,
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