The Look of Jesus

The look of Jesus in the gospels

changed people's hearts.

If Jesus were to walk our world today

what would He look at first?

I wonder if the first to attract His notice

would be any overwhelming goodness.

Good-hearted people can see goodness everywhere,

evil-hearted people see evil,

we truly see in others

a reflection of ourselves.

Jesus unearths and uncovers

the love, honesty, and goodness

hiding in each person

who attracts His look.

He looks at the prostitute,

and I try to look at here like He does

to discover what He sees in her.

I watch Him look at the despised tax-collector

at the adulterous woman...

at the criminal on the cross beside Him...

I am trying to learn the art of looking.

When Jesus looks where I see malice

He sees ignorance.

At the moment of His own death

I watch Him lower his gaze to His false convictors

beyond their malice,

and He says, "Forgive them, they don't know what they're doing"

What can I learn about the art of looking?

When I walk about my day

and meet a stranger

or walk into a group,

how much goodness can I see

in each person?

I imagine Jesus beside me

teaching me to look in new ways,

to make allowance,

to search for ignorance,

and find good.

Then I expose myself

to the loving look of Jesus.

When my heart looks into the eyes of Jesus,

I am in awe of the goodness He detects in me.

I am quicker to blame myself

for ALL the wrong I do and have done

He stubbornly refuses to condemn me.

I cannot handle it, at first

It is too forgiving

and in my self-hatred, I cannot see

what His loving look sees.

But I am aware I must sustain His look

if I really want to learn to look at others

the way He looks at me.

Paying attention to prayer answers

lookHere's the thing about God's answers to prayer: he always does.

I just miss it for lack of attention. When I pray with some intentionality, I should immediately anticipate God's answer (whatever it might be). Most often, though, I pray and immediately forget about what I was praying about. I forget to then look for how God may be answering that prayer. I ignore and miss all the unusual things about my day. I see them as menial or distracting, and fail to connect them with the activity of an omnipresent, sovereign, omniscient God I had JUST spoken with.

When I pray I need to immediately begin watching and listening to what happens next. Be prepared to make adjustments to MY plan. The thought that God is not going to answer my prayer should never cross my mind.

God actively answers, I just rarely stick around to notice.