“That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.”
― Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts
There are few people, if any, in this world who do not “endlessly crave” to be seen and treated equally. The “mess of this world” is that we have never figured out what that really means. In our world, equal means one thing for some people and another thing for others. One thing politically, one thing socially, one thing religiously. And even one thing for men, and one thing for women.
Jesus told a story of a man (likely a Jew coming from Jerusalem) who was beaten and left for dead by the side of the road. Two ‘religious’ men walked by the man and “passed him by on the other side.” They saw him, but they did not ‘see’ him. A third man, a Samaritan, (despised by Jews) came by and though seen as racially, religiously unequal, looked at the man with compassion and said, “I see you.” He saw through the mess, and put oil and covers on his wounds, picked him up, and took him to a place where he could heal.
Who of us have not, are not, crying from the wounds and bruises of judgement, injustice, betrayal, abandonment? Lying by the side of the road, hearts aching for the beauty of acceptance, healing, and unconditional, liberating love? Enter Jesus. He doesn’t look the other way, he doesn’t pass by. He does not look for color, for race, for age. He does not ask about our past. Like Hagar by the stream, He says, “I see you.” He covers our wounds, lifts us up, carries us to the cross, and there, “by his wounds, we are healed.”
To the man fighting addiction, to the single mother left with three, to the broken soul abused and broken by an angry man, to those longing to be seen as equal, Jesus says, “I see you. I I will lift you up. I will honor you.”
We can stop fighting for justice. We can put aside protesting for equality. We can quell the gender hatred and anger. The “heart-aching beauty beyond” that we “endlessly crave” is waiting to be found alone in Jesus. He doesn’t have a banner. He’s not leading a movement or revolution. He doesn’t come to turn the world upside down. He comes to turn your heart and mine right side up.
He comes to make you new. New Man, New Woman. That’s it.