Love’s Eyes

Love has a way of changing people’s features.

EyeJoseph, son of David, the angel said, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
~Matthew 1:20b-21

Darn right, he’s afraid. See, for most of his life Joseph has pretty much lived with a carpenter’s saw in one hand and his rulebook, the Torah, in the other. And his rulebook tells him there’s only one way to see an unmarried, pregnant woman. This is a disaster for poor Joseph.

But in a dream he hears the angel say, “God is doing something new here, Joseph. Mary is not who your rulebook says she is.  God is bigger than your rulebook. Take the leap of faith!”

Often it does require a leap of faith in order to be able to see someone in a new light.

Our son Taylor is a remarkable person with a quick sense of humor and a tender-to-a-fault heart. He also has an acute sensitivity to people in pain, no doubt because he himself lives every day in the land of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

One night a few years ago when he was a senior in high school, Taylor and I spent an evening meandering about town together and ended up browsing for an hour in an art gallery. We topped off the evening with cheesecake and coffee at a favorite restaurant.

As we were eating, out of the blue, Taylor said:  “I know I’m not much of an artist. But if I were a painter, I know what I’d create.”

“What would you paint?” I said.

“I’d paint a banquet scene,” he said. “A super-elegant table with flowers and crystal and mountains of food. And there would be some very particular guests.”

“Who are they?” I said.

“So, sitting at my table would be Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.”

I took a long sip of coffee. “That’s some pretty intense company,” I said.

With a mouth full of key lime cheesecake he said, “Yeah, but in my painting, even though we’d still be able to recognize them, they would look different than we’re used to seeing them.”

“Fascinating,” I said. “What do you mean?”

“Well, see,” he said, “because we hate them we only know how to see them one way. But in my painting we’d also be able to see them as they appear to God, who only knows how to love them.”

Love has a way of changing people’s features.

Love says: People aren’t always whom you think they are. Take a leap of faith . . . I’m doing something new.

This devotional originally appeared at http://www.nextsunday.com. NextSunday Resources, an imprint of Smyth & Helwys Publishing Inc., is a free press focusing on “quality Bible study and church resources that celebrate the intelligence of learners, the devotion of teachers, and the mission of churches everywhere.”

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