I’m thinking that I’m probably not the only one who has noticed a crazy increase in the number of shared stories on Facebook now – perhaps due to the ease of hitting “Share” now. But whatever the reason, I’ve been seeing a ton of inspirational stories, photos, and anecdotes. I think that whether or not all of them are completely true (since that’s beside the point), it’s neat to see how many people want to share these remarkable accounts of human actions.
This webpage has a collection of “24 photos that will restore your faith in humanity” – and they really will. With the exception of the 24th photo that is an article headline saying that at a school fundraiser, students paid the school to stop playing a J.Biebs song, they are all super serious and quite remarkable. Take the time to look through them…
I think that these all point at an interesting paradox in our society. These are pretty much all stories of “ordinary” people doing extraordinary things. Yet we read them, put these people on a pedestal, and then often fail to embrace the opportunities to do the same types of things in our everyday lives. What hold us back? Do we just not notice the chances, or is there fear that holds us back?
More than anything, we need to be looking at the world through the right set of eyes. I know, we were all given just one pair of eyes – it’s not like you can just switch them out. But with practice and determination, we can train our eyes to see the opportunities that we are offered every day to change the world, one little deed at a time. It’s important to remember that we might not be the best at something, we probably aren’t miracle-workers (at least I’m sure not), but by the grace of God we have been given the ability to LOVE the world that we are in.
For me, (and I know I’ve said this before to you all), but I try and see these opportunities as “Jesus in disguise.” Who am I to ignore the needs of Jesus if He were to be standing before me? It means the same for all people in the world. When we love God’s people and do extraordinary things, we are serving the greater good, advancing the Kingdom, and touching the face of God.
We read in Matthew 25 of how true this all is. Even though it is popular and you’ve probably read it a hundred times, try to look at it with fresh eyes and read it as if the words have never been read by you before – and let the Gospel dance for you.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'” – Matthew 25:34-40
How beautiful, right? The examples that the link I gave you earlier showed, in my opinion, completely epitomize the teaching from Matthew’s gospel. They are the times that people did extraordinary things through the power of God – whether they were aware or not.
I pray that we all can find new ways to see the world truly as a world of opportunity, rather than of stories of other people doing neat things. I pray that we can all have moments in our lives (regularly) where we push our own comfort zones to make a difference, even when nobody is looking….especially when no one is looking.
Instead of a verse tonight, I’m giving it up to Brandon Heath and his lyrics to “Give Me Your Eyes” – a completely appropriate song. Until next time, peace.
“Give me your eyes for just one second,
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted –
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten,
Give me your eyes so I can see.
I’ve been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought I was wrong,
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along.”