What do you see?

I received a text the other day from Lis’r (Lisa my gal pal) who wanted to see if I could decipher the signature on a piece of framed art. (We do this kind of trade off of expertise and visual impairments on a regular basis.) The messaging went back and forth for a while about whether to buy it to sell it, original oil vs. print, size, sending a full picture, etc. all the while not really sure where the conversation was going. As it turned out, it was a painting by W. Amion of two very beautiful and vibrant painted parrots. She found it at the local thrift store on their Wednesday 50% off art sale. Can you guess how much she paid? Anyone? She paid $7. Yes, $7! Who does that?! We later found it on the internet for upwards of $500.

Original painting by artist W. Amion

Original painting by artist W. Amion

Lis’r has found favor with God and He has given her not only a keen eye for finding treasure in the most unlikely places, He’s given her a heart that sees beyond circumstances. One particular day a few weeks back, she had gone to her car and came back shortly. She had encountered a young man who was homeless sitting behind my store. He begged her not to call the police (which she would never do). The young man began to share his life and current situation with her, to which she responded, “May I pray with you?” At that, he began to cry and of course, Lis’r turned on the waterworks when she came back inside. Collectively we scurried around and we were able to give him food, blankets, love and the message of Jesus—all through one simple encounter.

How many times have we walked passed someone and either not seen them or acted as if we didn’t, just so we didn’t have to talk to them? (I’m guilty as charged.) I wonder what deters us. Do we recall our parents telling us not to talk to strangers? Are we afraid they’re going to rob us, ask for money or worse, draw us into their situation however good, bad or indifferent it may be?

Many years ago when the Executive (my husband) and I were dating, there was a very poignant message one Sunday as we were gearing up to launch a street ministry about the tendency we have, even as Christians, to judge panhandlers and homeless people—assuming the worst. Shortly thereafter, we were on a day trip to Key West. As we strolled the streets, we saw an older, unkempt woman sitting on some steps asking passersby for money. The Executive made a comment something to the effect of, “She’s probably going to buy drugs.” Pastor’s message was still fresh on my mind and I quipped back, “You don’t know that. Remember what we learned?” Later as we dined in a local café, the woman came in and ordered a bowl of soup with the meager amount of money she’d collected. Trying not to give my future husband the “I told you so” look, he admitted he had been mistaken and bought her a full hot meal. (Luke 6:37)

As Christians, we’ve been told to see things through the eyes of Jesus. At first, I tried, but I struggled to grasp the concept. Our human nature wants to take us to judging the person no matter who they are or what the circumstance may be: homeless, overweight, disfigured, angry, old, young, well dressed, too slow, too loud or even too perky. I had to ask Him for help and that’s when He gave me Lis’r. Lis’r uses her heart to see the need because her trust in God is bigger, stronger and more in tune than what her physical eyes let her see. Through that trust, He allows her to see people right where they are. (Philippians 1:7) From that vantage point, she is able to give them Jesus—the only thing He asks any of us to do.

So what do you see?

mother and baby

 Do you see someone’s little girl?

Someone's sister?

Do you see someone’s sister?


Someone's best friend?

Do you see someone’s best friend?


Someone's wife?

Do you see someone’s wife?


Do you see someone's mother?

          Do you see someone’s mother?


homeless woman


Do you see someone Jesus died for?

Until next time, stay chic


Luke 6:37 (ESV) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven

Philippians 1:7 (NIV) It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.

John 13:34 (NIV) A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV) Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Proverbs 19:17 (ESV) Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.

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